Manly, Sydney NSW/AUS. The 2017 Australian Open of Surfing (AOS) kicked off today with the World Surf League (WSL) Girls Make Your Move Women’s Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 in punchy 3-4 feet conditions. The AOS is one of the most celebrated events in the WSL QS calendar with 6,000 points at stake. It attracts some of the biggest crowds of any event in the world and some of the biggest names in surfing.
Dimity Stoyle of Sunshine Coast posted the highest single wave score of the day for the women’s division with a 9.0 from her excellent maneuvers on a long right-hander. This helped her finish the heat with a 15.93, also the highest wave score of the day for the women’s competition. Stoyle, who was eliminated in the early rounds of the event in Manly last year, returned with an impressive start today and will move on to the next round looking sharp and focused.
Kobie Enright opened heat three of Round 2 with an excellent 8.50 score. But she was unable to easily find a second wave that is similar to her first one. She sat in last place while waiting for that wave. With time running out , Enright scrambled to find an average wave score that was enough to back up her first wave score and win the heat to move on to the next round.
Another noteworthy performance was shown by Ella Williams of New Zealand, who threw powerful forehand maneuvers and thrived with scores of 8.17 and 6.17 in heat 6 of the second round, securing the first place in her heat to proceed to the next round.
15-year-old American surfer, Caroline Marks took her Round 2 heat easily with a 13.77 heat total. Marks displayed an improvement in her approach to competition as a result of her moving to San Juan, California from Florida to focus on her surfing.
Teresa Bonvelot of Portugal, who is only 18 years old, makes her third appearance in the AOS and looked great, winning her heat with an 11.57. She proceeds to Round 3 with a guarantee of the best finish she ever had so far for the particular event in her past three years of joining it.
Meanwhile, the WSL Australian Open of Surfing Men’s Qualifying Series 6,000 event has kicked off this afternoon and is currently on live webcast coverage.
The AOS is the second stop of only a few QS 6,000 events in the WSL Calendar for 2017, which makes it very attractive for top ranked competitors looking to qualify to the elite Championship Tour. The list of past event winners including former World Champions Carissa Moore and Adriano De Souza, along with notable Championship Tour stars like Kolohe Andino, Matt Banting, Nikki Van Dijk, Laura Enever and Sally Fitzgibbons, are proof that this event attracts high caliber surfers from all over the globe.
Manly Beach is home to the first World Championship event back in 1964 where Australian Midget Farrelly was crowned World Champion. From that year onwards, Manly became host to some of the most popular surfing contests in the world. This place is an important historical location in the sport of surfing and the tradition of having Manly Beach as the event of choice of world-renowned contests such as the Australian Open of Surfing is continued even today.
Here are more photos taken on site: