The Australian Open of Surfing continued onto the second and third round of both Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 6000 competitions. Day five and six saw some top seeds making their mark while some underdogs executed huge upsets as the battle raged on. Manly beach continued to pump waves worthy of competition with three-foot conditions.
Current Women’s World Champion Tyler Wright paddled out to compete in Heat One of Round Three. In her very first Heat for the 2017 season, Wright looked focused and calm but an aggressive Dimity Stoyle won the heat with her fearless attacks on the lip. Stoyle, who was a former Championship Tour (CT) competitor did not look bothered by the presence of the champ and caught an excellent 8.5 single wave score to seal the lead and win the heat. Wright who finished second in her round three heat will also move on to the fourth round.
Sally Fitzgibbons, former winner of the Australian Open of Surfing in 2012, worked on fitness and heat strategy over the off-season break and showcased her strength by winning her round three heat with a 15.33 heat total.
Sage Erickson had another noteworthy performance and stood out to continue building up her momentum. Erickson, who previously finished 3rd place in last week’s event in Newcastle was pumping with energy in her round three heat where she posted a 9.33 backed with an 8.17 to get a heat total of 17.50, claiming the highest single wave score and highest heat total score throughout the Girls Make Your Move Women’s Pro event so far.
After the completion of the women’s round three, the men’s QS event continued onto the second round where Julian Wilson took an excellent 8.00 point ride with his massive backhand floater. He did not stop and backed his score up with a perfect 10.00 wave with his insane combination of alley-oop and air reverse. Wilson continued his feat into the third round where he dominated in heat one, finishing up with a score of 15.84.
Mikey Wright took down 2016 CT surfers Kanoa Igarashi and Alex Ribeiro in Round two despite his ankle injury. Wright has secured a wildcard slot for the Upcoming Quicksilver Pro to challenge the regular CT surfers.
Taylor Clark’s Round Two victory was a result of smart heat strategy. Taylor opted to catch punchy left-handers while his opponents were busy catching right-handers. His effort was duly rewarded, and he earned a 14.10 total score to win his heat and advance to the next round.
One of the biggest upsets was Shane Campbell’s second round win over current World Junior Champion and 2017 CT Rookie Ethan Ewing. Campbell won the heat to advance to the next round, while Ewing got eliminated after finishing fourth in the same heat. Campbell moved on to the next round but lost to Ryan Callinan, finishing 4th place in Round 3 Heat 9.
Ryan Callinan took advantage of the few ramps available while a high tide was slowly filling in. He maneuvered one of the most innovative aerials of the event and earned an excellent 9.60 score to take the lead, allowing him to move on to the next round. Ryan continued his stellar performance in the third round, earning a spot in the fourth round by winning his round 3 heat with a total score of 16.33.
The competition is expected to be tougher and all eyes are watching in anticipation. Which surfers will be eliminated and which ones will thrive and emerge victorious?
The live webcast will continue, Friday 7:25 AEDT.