Isabella Nichols (pictured, AUS) won the Margaret River Pro, the fifth and final stop before the Mid-season Cut on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT). CT rookie Gabriela Bryan(HAW) and two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) earned runner-up finishes after great performances of their own in the eight-to-ten foot waves at Main Break.
Nichols’ win not only marked her maiden CT victory, but saved her position to continue through the back half of the 2022 CT following the Mid-season Cut. Robinson had secured his place on above the cut following the previous event, and had his sights on winning the trophy in his hometown. His victory is the first Margaret River CT win by a Western Australian since Dave Macaulay in 1989.
CT Sophomore Isabella Nichols Claims Maiden CT Victory
Coming into the Final Day of competition at the Margaret River Pro, Isabella Nichols (AUS) sat in 12th position on the rankings and below the Mid-season Cut line. To move above the cut and keep her spot on Tour, the equation was simple: Win the event. In her second year on the CT and having only one CT Finals appearance under her belt, taking a win at the elite level would be no easy feat, but the Sunshine Coaster dug deep to overcome local hero Bronte Macaulay (AUS) in the Semifinals and rookie Gabriela Bryan (HAW) in the Final.
Isabella Nichols (AUS) chaired to victory for the first time in her CT career. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar
Heat 2 for the women’s Semifinals saw local Bronte Macaulay (AUS) defeated by fellow Australian Isabella Nichols. Nichols’ excellent wave selection helped to secure her position in the Finals, through only catching two waves, compared to Macaulay’s five.
CT Competitors Locked Following Mid-season Cut
The new Mid-season Cut has now reduced the CT fields to the Top 22 men and Top 10 women. These top surfers will continue through the back-half of the CT in an effort to make the WSL Final 5 and compete in the Rip Curl WSL Finals. They have also all confirmed their places for the 2023 CT season.
Those who did not make the cut will need to compete on the 2022 Challenger Series in order to qualify for the 2023 CT. The eight-stop Challenger Series kicks off at Snapper Rocks at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro presented by Rip Curl with promising swell on the way for the event window opening May 7, 2022.
Women’s CT: Made the Cut
Carissa Moore (HAW)
Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Tyler Wright (AUS)
Lakey Peterson (USA)
Johanne Defay (FRA)
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
Isabella Nichols (AUS)
Women’s CT: Missed the Cut
Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Luana Silva (HAW)
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Molly Picklum (AUS)
India Robinson (AUS)
Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Malia Manuel (HAW)
Caroline Marks (USA)
Margaret River Pro Women’s Final Results:
1 – Isabella Nichols (AUS) 12.94
2 – Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 10.00
Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 15.73 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.43
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 15.93 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.34
Next Stop: Quiksilver / Roxy Pro G-Land
The next stop on the WSL 2022 Championship Tour is the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro G-Land, which holds a competition window from May 28 through June 6, 2022. The competition will broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.