31 March, 2014 31 March, 2014

Hello, Margarets! Dream Tour Hits Western Australia

The Dream Tour is in Western Australia for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro from 2 – 13 April.

When he joined the Dream Tour halfway through the 2011 season, most of Brazil were claiming that a world title was on its way to South America in the near future. A victory at just his second event, the 2011 Quiksilver Pro France, had the rest of the world taking notice too.

“But does he have what it takes to compete in real waves?” surf fans argued.

Not at first, it appeared, but the great thing about joining the tour at just seventeen years-old is that time is on your side. A subsequent runner-up finish to Kelly Slater at the 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro in solid waves at Cloudbreak, plus a couple of hard-charging performances at the Billabong Pipe Masters have meant that he has started to answer that question too. At 20 years-old, he can compete in real waves.

Currently ranked number one in the world, all eyes will be on Gabriel Medina at the Drug Aware Pro.

We are of course talking about Gabriel Medina, who leads the world tour as it heads to Western Australia for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro set for 2 – 13 April. That he beat Joel Parkinson at his home break without digging too deep into his bag of tricks indicates that he has matured into a title threat. A lot of the focus at this event will be on how Gabriel handles the pressure of leading the world rankings.

After a slow start to the season, Jordy Smith will be hungry for a result to get his world title challenge back up to speed. If you consider his performance in the video below, which was filmed a couple of weeks prior to the 2014 Dream Tour opener, then you have to admit that he should be up there challenging for the title. A good result at Margaret River will get him back in the running.

One Saffa is challenging for the title already. Bianca Buitendag will be surfing her first heat at the Drug Aware Pro ranked second in the world. Her runner-up performance at Snapper Rocks was an inspired display of backhand surfing, and if the Southern Cape local continues with that kind of form it won’t be a surprise to see her on the podium again. The fact that Margaret River offers some juicy lefts too will have Bianca stoked on the possibilities on offer.

Will Bianca leave Margaret River ranked number 1 in the world? We’ll find out between 2 – 13 April.

Travis Logie will be the other South African to watch in Western Australia. Time and again the New Pier local has proven that when the stakes are high, then he can battle it out with the best of them. This ensures that any of the top seeds that draw him in a heat are wary. If he gets the chance, he’ll ruffle a few feathers at Margaret River. It’s when the stakes aren’t high that Travis, by his own admission, doesn’t perform his best. Let’s hope the pressure gets turned on at the Drug Aware Pro, so we can witness Travis at his lightning-fast best.

The forecast for the first few days of the waiting period doesn’t look promising, which should add some pressure. We look forward to seeing how Travis rises to the occasion as the event unfolds.

Originally from Inanda, Durban’s Sihle Mbutho is a long way from home in Western Australia.

As part of Jordy’s support crew at Margaret River, Surfers Not Street Children ambassador, Sihle Mbutho, will be cheering on the Saffa trio as they take on the world’s best. Sihle was chosen by O’Neill as part of their ‘Today is Perfect’ campaign, which according to Brand Manager, Paul Canning, “aims to make every day perfect despite rough conditions and obstacles.”

“The first thing I am going to do when I get there, is ask Kelly Slater how such an old man is beating us young surfers all the time!” admitted Sihle when talking about his trip to Western Australia.

The 11-time world champ has left an impression on the former street child, who has now found his feet thanks to surfing and the efforts of Surfers Not Street Children, and Sihle in turn hopes to leave an impression on those that see how surfing has changed his life.

“I want to be known as the street kid who helped other kids leave the streets.” explained Sihle. “Surfing took away my stress and the sea is my new home. I know I can help other kids feel this way too,”

Joel Parkinson (2nd in the world rankings), Kelly Slater (5th), Mick Fanning (5th), and Western Australia’s Taj Burrow (3rd), will all be pushing Gabriel Medina hard for the number one spot at the Drug Aware Pro.

Watch the event LIVE on aspworldtour.com/events/mct/649/drug-aware-margaret-river-pro between 2nd and 13th April.

Check out the event teaser below to get you amped.

1 Comment

  1. Surfer not street Kids=cool
    31 March, 2014 at 2:10 pm · Reply

    I really like the surfers not street kids initiative -this is the kinda thing that can work in SA.Well done Paul Canning and O’Niel.

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