Surf Report with John Veage | Connor O'Leary needs to dig deep at Margaret River Pro

Stephanie Gilmore and Brazil’s Italo Ferreira have won the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, stop number two on the World Surf League Championship Tour after a week of competitive drama, upsets and emotion.

Held at the iconic Bells Beach for the 57th time, the world tour now heads west with the potential for huge surf and slabbing reefs at the Margaret River Pro starting today.

Connor O’Leary, Cronulla’s lone world tour representative, is not where he wants to be sitting 26th,13 spots lower than last year.

O’Leary is surfing in heat two against South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Hawaiian Keanu Asing.

With a 13th and a throw away 25th place so far O’Leary needs a good result at Margaret River to avoid the mid year seeding change where surfers in the top 15 are given the lowest-ranked competitors to surf against in round one.

It seems that 2018 could provide one of the most unpredictable world title races in years with favorites like Florence, Medina, and Matt Wilkinson failing and a poor start by world champion Tyler Wright and last year’s Margaret River winner Sally Fitzgibbons meaning the rankings have a fresh look.

With Kelly Slater out of the event and Mick Fanning now retired, surfing might be entering a new phase, where past rulers no longer reign.

Slashing: Kalani Vandepolder won the under-16s division of Cronulla Sharks Boardriders Beach Burrito contest on Saturday. Kash Brown won the under-13s, Lilly Brown the girls and Jay Brown the opens. Picture: John Veage

Slashing: Kalani Vandepolder won the under-16s division of Cronulla Sharks Boardriders Beach Burrito contest on Saturday. Kash Brown won the under-13s, Lilly Brown the girls and Jay Brown the opens. Picture: John Veage

Surfers-If your after a new surfboard there is an “Epic Board Sale” on the lawn at Wanda surf club on Saturday the 14th April-9-12pm.

Heaps of new and pre-loved boards at crazy prices, foamies,fishes, performance Boards,ex-demo and Brand New-Something for everyone.

Cronulla like the whole East coast has had a good week of waves, 3-4ft but with a couple of days of perfect conditions,with offshores blowing all day.

Luke Sullivan at the Wall-it is pumping.Picture John Veage

Luke Sullivan at the Wall-it is pumping.Picture John Veage

But this morning it is PUMPING 4-6ft and offshore-drop everything and get to the beach

I took a couple of todays pics at the Wall and on Monday at Wanda -where it was sunny and surfable,right up until the southerly blew through.

Swellnet predicts the light southerly we had blow through Monday and Tuesday will ease off  leaving today with an increasing South East swell from a main low situated in the Tasman Sea .

The figures did suggest  4ft surf at south facing beaches today in the morning  building to 4-6ft at south facing beaches later in the day as the longer period energy kicks in-well it came early and more from the East-but we won't complain!

Unfortunately it will be ruined by an afternoon Nor Easter so don't waste it-but it should still hang around into Thursday before slowly dying into the weekend.

Australia'sTyler Hollmer-Cross is nominated for the 2018 BWA Tube of the Year for this ride at Shipstern Bluff. 
Picture; Andrew Chisholm

Australia'sTyler Hollmer-Cross is nominated for the 2018 BWA Tube of the Year for this ride at Shipstern Bluff. Picture; Andrew Chisholm

If you need a shot of adrenaline,the list of nominees for the 2018 World Surf League  Big Wave Awards  has been officially released.

$350,000 in total prize money will be awarded across seven categories: Quiksilver Airlift XXL Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Tube of the Year, Wipeout of the Year, Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year, and Hydro Flask Women’s Best Overall Performance of the Year. The WSL’s official BWA Nominee page is now live at - worldsurfleague.com/bigwaveawards/nominees. 

In 2018 Kiama will play host to the HIF NSW Bodyboard State Titles and the inaugural Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour event Kiama Bodyboard Slam.   
Picture; Shannon Glasson / Surfing NSW

In 2018 Kiama will play host to the HIF NSW Bodyboard State Titles and the inaugural Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour event Kiama Bodyboard Slam. Picture; Shannon Glasson / Surfing NSW

Finally for the lid riders,Kiama will become the hub of NSW bodyboarding in 2018 when the idyllic region plays host to the 2018 HIF NSW Bodyboard State Titles and the inaugural Association of Professional Bodyboarders  World Tour event Kiama Bodyboard Slam.

The HIF NSW Bodyboard State Titles will take place from Friday, 4 May – Sunday 6 May 2018, while the Kiama Bodyboard Slam will take from Monday 30 July - Thursday, 9 August 2018.

The Kiama Bodyboard Slam has been secured by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, in partnership with Destination Kiama and Surfing NSW and is currently the only APB World Tour event slated for Australia.

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