Surfing stars talk up rare wave

Daniel Mercer

It was the talk of the town.

Last week, as the world's best surfers battled it out in monstrous conditions in the early rounds of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the name of one spot was a recurring theme in the conversations.

Only it wasn't The Box or main break - the two official sites for the contest - that everybody was talking about.

It was North Point - the powerful yet fickle right-hand point break at the northern end of nearby Gracetown's Cowaramup Bay.

For successive days, when they were not competing, the likes of Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore put on a show for awe-struck locals as perfect waves rolled in.

Asked about the spot, 11-time world champion Slater sung its praises while suggesting it could be a spectacular venue for competitive heats in future.

"North Point is such a rare wave," the American said.

"It's not a secret spot - everyone knows how good it is. But it's really rare."

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Australian surfer Josh Kerr echoed the comments, saying that on its day North Point would be one of the most exciting places to stage a surfing contest in the world.

"It's a very rare wave to get in a free-surf, let alone getting a heat out here," Kerr said. "North Point is just one of those special waves.

"It's a long, barrelling wave that does really unique things when you're on it, the way it hits the reef in that top section and that bottom section and hollows out."

Gilmore, who had to withdraw from the women's event yesterday after fracturing a bone in her leg during a free-surf, was equally effusive.

"I think North Point is becoming one of my favourite waves even though I've only had a couple of sessions out there," the six-time world champ said.

The comments came as it emerged Yallingup-based surf legend Taj Burrow and his girlfriend Rebecca Jobson are having a baby.

Rebecca Jobson. Picture: Instagram

In a post on her Instagram account, Jobson said: "Swallowed a watermelon seed 15 weeks ago and (we're) pretty excited about it."

The news capped a big week for Burrow after he sailed into the semifinals of his home event, which is due to crown a winner on Wednesday.