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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

McDonagh has first crack at the world’s best pro surfers

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Wildcard Mikey McDonagh (AUS) is eliminated from the 2018 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach after placing second in Heat 2 of Round 2 at Bells Beach, VIC, Australia.

At just 16 Mikey McDonagh from Lennox Head surfed in his first WSL Championship Tour heat against the current world champion John John Florence and Brazilian Tomas Hermes at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

McDonagh showed some nerves and fell on a couple of waves finishing third in his round-one heat.

Some nerves were still apparent in round two against former world champion Adriano de Souza but McDonagh gained confidence halfway through and showed the crowd some great surfing.

Unfortunately he lost the bout, only needing a 6.46 wave to advance.

He finished in equal 25th and won US $10,000 for his first appearance on surfing’s world stage.

McDonagh secured his spot in the event by winning the Rip Curl Pro trials competition held in pumping two-metre waves at Bells Beach.

Mikey was impressive throughout the trials, using his knowledge of the area after surfing in several events around the region.

In the final of the trials McDonagh took the win through a series of carving manoeuvres through the large waves.

Byron Bay’s Matt Wilkinson won his first heat and moved straight into round three to battle new rookie on tour Griffin Colapinto.  Wilkinson scored an excellent 8.00 ride on a big set wave that proved the difference and he moved on to round four.


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