Professional Surfing made a return today to one of it's most iconic battle grounds, the beautiful point at Burleigh Heads, for the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event - the Burleigh Pro presented by Bruce Lynton Land Rover.
Conditions cooperated for competitors who were offered two-to-three foot waves and a long sandbar giving endless entertainment to the impressive Day 1 crowds.
Gold Coaster Quinn Bruce (AUS) used his knowledge of the point at Burleigh to make the most of the tricky conditions managing to find a number of waves that offered multiple sections for him to put it on rail and even taking to the air on his highest scoring wave. Bruce posted a heat total of 14.15 (out of a possible 20) to win his heat and progress to Round 2.
"It was a bit all over the place but if you were in the spot you could get a sick one," Bruce said. "The swell has dropped from yesterday but it's hitting the bank way better you can actually get a few turns off and if your lucky get a barrel, it's super fun. Surfing Burleigh with only three other guys out is so good, there's no other competition like it."
One of the Sunshine Coast's most promising up and coming talents is Harry Bryant (AUS). Although known for sticking some big airs, today he kept it all on the face, taking the smaller but longer waves allowing him to wrap a number of turns to post medium scores, which is all he needed to sneak into Round 2.
"That was a super nerve racking heat," Bryant said. "There were plenty of waves out there so I just tried to keep calm. The north wind isn't the best but it sort of gives it some good sections to get a decent score. I'm feeling good and hopefully the waves keep coming."
The long, warm, blue walls of Burleigh point couldn't be a bigger contrast for Great Britain's Jobe Harriss (GRB) who came out of the gates early in his heat, taking a set wave and throwing five big backhand turns to post an excellent wave score of 8.00 (out of a possible 10) and managed to hold his lead for the entire heat.
"It was a long way for me to come from Britain so making heats and getting scores is great," Harriss said. "I had a bit of a shocker at the last event so I'm stoked to get through this one. Being here and seeing the Gold Coast points is so sick, you hear about how perfect they are but until you get here you'll never know, and over the last week the waves have been ridiculous."
Another Gold Coast standout was Luke Hynd (AUS), whose smooth backhand impressed the judges who scored him a heat total of 15.55. Once Hynd's scores were locked in, he took top the air and put on a show for the spectators.
"The tide was high for my heat, which means you can get a few more turns in than when it's low which was good," Hynd said. "Once I locked in a couple of decent scores and got my confidence up I thought I'd get a bit funky and head to the air, the northerly wind is good for airs."
Women's Round 1 was also completed today as a large storm began to bear down on the Gold Coast. Continuing the trend of standout local surfers was Kobie Enright (AUS) who maintained her recent run of good form, taking out her heat against good friend Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS).
"It's pretty tough out there now, I just wanted to find a corner one and get a few turns in," Enright said. "I knew if I could get a couple of clean turns off I'd get a half decent score, so that's what I did. Kirra-Belle (Olson) and I have had a few heats recently which is tough but as soon as we're out of the water it's all good."
For competitors with queries on event status and location please call event hotline, +61 (07) 3030 6388