No Aussie wobbles in Margaret River start

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There were no day-one dramas as the Australian women's contingent aiming to avoid the World Surf League's mid-season cut progressed at the Margaret River Pro.

The pressure is on India Robinson (eighth), Steph Gilmore (ninth), Sally Fitzgibbons, Isabella Nichols (equal 12th), Molly Picklum (16th) and Bronte Macaulay (18th) as they attempt to squeak into the top 10 and remain on the the Championship Tour for the final five events.

But all six avoided the elimination round by finishing first or second in their heats on Monday as competition began in challenging conditions in Western Australia.

Bells Beach champion Tyler Wright, already assured passage, continued her good form with a commanding heat victory before Picklum and Gilmore relegated current world No.4 Lakey Peterson to a sudden-death surf.

Gilmore needed a 5.07-point ride from her final wave, the seventh scoring wave of her heat, to sneak ahead of Peterson.

That meant she avoided the prospect of an early exit that would have likely pushed her out of the top 10 and reliant on the sole wildcard that remains on offer.

"That's a dream heat for me, to verse two women like that," Picklum said after claiming victory in her first career appearance at the venue.

"It was inspiring to be out there with them, fortunately I got here early enough to figure out this wave, because it's a tricky one.

"The cut's put a bunch of pressure on all these surfers here, but I've just got to do my thing because I really do believe I deserve to be on this tour."

Conditions are set to improve, with men's first round and women's elimination heats a possibility to run on Tuesday.

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