Crunch time has officially arrived at the Margaret River Pro. Good, if slightly inconsistent, but still well-overhead surf filled in throughout the day providing a canvas for plenty of drama on both the men's and women's side of the draw. On the women's side, the Semifinals are set with Tyler Wright facing off against Sage Erickson, and Stephanie Gilmore taking on Sally Fitzgibbons.
Fitzgibbons' Quarterfinal win over Carissa Moore was a fiery affair, opening with a contentious interference dispute and ending with Sally pushing her best ride into the near-perfect range.
Unfortunately for Malia Manuel, the dreaded injury bug struck the in-form Hawaiian today. She has likely strained an MCL in one of her knees during her Round Four win, and had to forfeit her Quarterfinal clash against Tyler Wright.
Over on the men's side, the Quarterfinalists are now set with none of the Round Four heat winners -- Owen Wright, John John Florence, Adriano de Souza and Kolohe Andino -- hitting the water today. Hopefully for that group, they got some rest and didn't fill up on vino tinto after some of the head-on battles witnessed today. Jordy Smith used a battering ram on Jeremy Flores, while Michel Bourez dropped an axe-hammer on Julian Wilson.
Jack Freestone continues to exhibit newfound maturity to go with his razor-sharp technical lines. Then there was Filipe Toledo. For all intents and purposes, Toledo dropped one of his popular Single Session web edits during his Round Five heat win over Sebastian Zietz. It was an impressive display of perpetual energy in motion and wave-riding consistency. Can he duplicate it?
We'll wait for the call Tuesday.