Slater is back in the West

COMPETITION at Margaret River is on again from next Monday until Sunday (April 10) and despite not being a world title event, Margs has drawn some of the biggest names in surfing.

Ten-time ASP World men’s champion Kelly Slater has thrown his illustrious hat into the ring that includes Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson.

Rumour has it that Slater has been paid appearance money to show as the West Australian event is not a World title event such as the previous Quiksilver Pro won by the man at Snapper Rocks last month.

But the fact is as a $250,000 prime-rated event; a win at Margaret’s would be equivalent to third place in a World title event.

That means this event is critically important to those ASP Pros who will need to make the top 20 cut-off by the middle of the year.

Right now Joel Parkinson, who surfed superbly at Snapper but failed to impress the judges with his uncanny tube-riding, has fallen down the ASP rankings which are not to be confused with the World title ratings.

Parko is currently languishing in 21st place and needs events like Margaret to bolster his points to stay within the top 20.

Whereas Mick Fanning has been keen to compete in other events besides just Snapper and is presently in third on the rankings but is 13th on the World title ratings.

This whole new ASP system could be the undoing of the top guys unless they compete in both circuits to requalify mid-year.

There’s no easy way to the top and staying there unless you are like Kelly Slater, who continues to lead both rankings despite only surfing in one event so far this year.

Currumbin’s Mitch Crews has earnt a wildcard into the round of 96 at Margaret’s, due reward as last year’s ASP Australasia junior champion. Mitch has been seeded into the round of 96 surfers.

As a member of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders, Mitch was the successful winner of the Quiksilver Trials to qualify for the main event. The fast and furious natural-footer came up against Kelly Slater in the first round and was totally out-surfed by the King, having thrown too much caution to the wind.

He fared better in the second-round exchange against Adrian Buchan and while Mitch scored an 8.5 as the single highest score in the heat he couldn’t find that second necessary wave to be just beaten by the Ace.

It’s Mitch’s first year on the open men’s circuit after a hugely successful junior career and the solid reef break known as Surfers Point will be another test of his professional competitive career.

This Tuesday night at Ridgeley Hall, Burleigh Heads, Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast/Tweed branch together with National Surfing Reserves are calling for stakeholders to discuss the possibility of creating the first surfing reserve in the local surfing area.

The meeting is open to everyone and is scheduled from 7-9pm.

The host groups are asking for all opinions on how to achieve a Gold Coast Surfing reserve.

For more info on surfing reserves check out

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