Margaret River, a few hours south of Perth on Australia’s rugged western shore, is truly God’s country. Gorgeous hills dotted with vineyards, kangaroo farms and macrobiotic restaurants tumble into a sapphire ocean teeming with life. The towns are a postcard dream, impossibly cute with broad accent’d locals ready to serve you in any manner of ways.
It is truly perfection, a public relations department dream. Margaret River sells itself but what happens when Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina hijacks the marketing? Margaret River turns into Uluwatu (in Indonesia some 3000 km away) or Gnaraloo station (in West Oz but 1300 km north) is what.
What an unmitigated disaster! But true. You recall this year’s Margaret River Pro, paid for by Tourism Australia, completed in Uluwatu. Well, there is discussion next year to move it equally far away (basically). And let us turn to the grand West Australian for more.
The Weekend West understands Margaret River Pro organisers met Shire of Northampton chief executive Garry Keefe and representatives from the Kalbarri board riders club to discuss moving the competition north. Kalbarri’s Jake’s Point (500km north of Perth) and Gnaraloo station (1000km north of Perth) are believed to be possible locations.
A State Government spokeswoman said Tourism WA had an agreement with Surfing WA to hold the Margaret River Pro next year.
“We are in early talks with Surfing WA and WSL about future years,” she said.
The attacks (during this year’s event) prompted backlash from international surfing champions including Brazilian surfing heavyweight Gabriel Medina, who aired concerns about returning to the water.
Medina told his six million Instagram followers at the time that he did not feel safe training or competing in Margaret River after the attacks.
“They had two shark attacks on a beach close to where we’re competing,” he said. “I do not feel safe training and competing in this kind of place — anytime, anything can happen.”
Have you ever surfed in either Kalbarri or Gnaraloo station? Good? Fun?
Nice for competition?
And more importantly don’t you love how Australia kicks Gabriel Medina under the bus every single time there is a conversation about the cancelled Margaret River Pro? It is a well-executed campaign, no doubt, and I think that Gabriel Medina should move to Australia and become a villain.
Like, star in all the movies as the bad guy etc. Always shaking a fist at the camera and warning locals that he is one bad mama jamma.
And without further ado…