More From Margaret River

All Photos: Corey Wilson
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Let’s talk business
Twas a busy day at Margaret River. A morning squall faded into a gorgeous day, the sun shining ever so brightly through that hole in the ozone layer and broiling even the most leathered of skin. Thanks a ton, aerosol. The men had their Round 2 — but that’s like the losers round right? Isn’t it boring? Not today, folks. Mostly because we saw…

Diamonds in the blue
Round 2 saw an unusually high number of top-tier competitors bobbing around that Indian Ocean azul. Guys were throwing haymakers left and right, especially…

Kelly Slater: Kelly surfed a whole lot like his royal self today. You see that rail turn photo?
CJ Hobgood: Cliff looked good. Like, real good. While his opponent, Rainoi Montero, did a Stone Cold Steve Austin stunner onto dry reef, CJ teed off on his backhand. It’s a combo nation, and we say Cliff for president.
Nat Young: The biggest difference between 2013 Nat and 2014 Nat? Confidence. Kid’s surfing like he eats bowls of nails for breakfast. He defeated Brett Simpson today and has that look in his eyes that says, I’m never gonna lose, bitches.
John John Florence: The judges owe Mr. F a big old thank you note, and maybe even a bottle of Margaret River merlot. John John started his heat with a tweaked fin throw reverse to the tune of a 5. His opponent, Dion Atkinson, then did a bunch of powerful — but safe — turns and got an 8. But we thought this was 2014? Dion held control of the heat for a little while, then John John did everything you could ever imagine on one wave and got a 9.87 that was really a 10. And faith was restored in the (judging) world.
Kolohe Andino: He is a man now. Kolohe pulled out the most memorable comeback in his adult career by stealing a win right from Jeremy Flores’ back pocket in the last minute of their heat. What a grown-up.
Sebastian Zietz: Seabass has one of the best forehand carves on tour. Quote us on that, or just ask Matt Wilkinson — whom Bass sent to Bells.

A lady-like afternoon
Because it’s not yet night. In the quarters, we saw…

Stephanie Gilmore: Steph beat Courtney Conlogue by .03 today — that’s less than you have to blow for a DUI these days, even in Australia. Courtney had the heat in the bag but a last minute priority blunder cost her a semifinal berth.
Carissa Moore: Annihilate. That’s what Carissa does, that’s what she’s gonna do. Back-to-back world champ?
Tyler Wright: Laura Enever gave Tyler a good run for her money, but Miss Wright reigned supreme. It’s family tradition.
Sally Fitzgibbons: How about some of those hacks? Sally is the smallest girl on the girl’s WCT, but you would never guess based on the way she hacks.

So, tomorrow…
…is going to be the best day of surfing thus far. Expect the men to be surfing bright and early — possibly at The Box.