Jan Juc’s Nic Muscroft had the best result to date at Margaret River over the weekend as he surfed his way to the quarter finals of the Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Western Australia’s iconic break, bringing home an equal fifth place.
Amongst the best of the best, Muscroft sidelined three championship tour surfers – Brazil’s Heitor Alves, Mick Fanning and Adam Melling – facing eventual contest winner, John John Florence of Hawaii in a high scoring quarter final.
After making it through a tough round one heat at the end of the first day against Alves, Muscroft said it was funny – after tough first round heats you can end up on a roll.
“It was big and messy, everyone was having a shocker. It was a pretty bad heat until right at the end, and I ended up getting through, sometimes there’s a fine line.
“I managed to beat Mick, and then got past Adam. I’ve won a couple of heats against Mick, he can be pretty serious and you’ve got to be on your game to beat him.”
With conditions prime for the event, surfers including Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore and Mark Occhilupo all had the opportunity to rip up the six foot waves on offer.
“Everyone was is in it, but it was really good, pumping the whole time especially in the mornings. In the afternoons there were some sea breezes, but it was still fun.”
Having surfed against Florence a few times in Hawaiian events, Muscroft said the young Hawaiian had really flourished. He said he wasn’t too bummed being knocked out by him.
Muscroft now has his sights set on a wildcard in the Rip Curl Pro next week as he prepares for the week in the lead up to Monday’s Wingman Trials at his home break.
“I’m pretty excited, I’ve always gone pretty well. I’ve just gotta keep the ball rolling and give it a crack. It’d be great to get another crack at John John and Mick.”
And after a weekend of decent size at breaks along the Surf Coast, as long as Bells throws up anything over two foot, Muscroft said he’d be happy.
“Bells, when it’s working, is an ultimate break. It can be a real tricky wave, and I’ve seen guys struggle out there if they’re used to beach breaks.
“It takes a bit of getting used to. To read the wave and pick the best ones, that’s the challenge.”