American Cam Richards and Australian Macy Callaghan have won the Carve Pro QS1,000 event at Maroubra in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. The final day of competition offered the best conditions of the week with clean 4-5 foot waves for competitors to rip into in front of a large Sunday crowd.
The Men's Final was a thriller that saw South Carolina's Richards come up against young Aussie Kalani Ball. The two had been putting on outstanding performances all week and the Final was no exception.
Richards got off to an incredible start, putting Ball in a combination situation early (needing two scores). His heat total of 15.75 (out of a possible 20) came from a solid combination of aerial and conventional power surfing. Richards was sitting pretty until Ball fought back to get himself within striking distance. With less than a minute left, Ball made the most of a clean right hander, pulling a nice air reverse and a snap. But it wasn't enough, and Richards ended with one of the biggest wins of his career.
"This is all pretty unexpected to be honest," Richards said. "I haven't really competed too much and thought I'd see how I went on this Australian leg of events. I guess this is a pretty good start. It was a really fun event. Kalani is such a good surfer and when I saw him take off on that last wave I was pretty nervous. Luckily he just missed the score. I'm really happy to win and I can't wait for the next event."
Ball also surfed an amazing event and was unlucky to come up short in the Final. Although the scores didn't swing in his favor, Ball's composure against the ropes was that of a much more seasoned competitor.
"I'm just really happy I didn't finish the Final in combo," Ball said. I knew it was going to be tough when I saw the airs Cam had been doing all event. I knew when I needed a score at the end I was going to have to go big but the wave didn't offer me too much. At the end of the day it's a good result, so I hope I can keep this run going."
The Women's Final was a battle between future stars and fellow Aussies, Macy Callaghan and Kobie Enright. After Macy took top honors in the recent World Junior Championship and Kobie a solid fifth, their Final matchup was no surprise.
Callaghan continued her unstoppable role in the Final as the young Central Coaster opted for the lefthanders to show off her aggressive backhand attack. Her excellent heat total of 17.00 was the highest of the event and left her opponent in a combination situation. Her first excellent single wave score came from just one maneuver, a vertical reentry that some of the judging panel deemed the best of the event.
"This is such an amazing feeling," Callaghan said. "It was a really fun heat. After I got that first 8.25 I just relaxed and got in a good rhythm. I knew Kobie was capable of getting perfect scores so I couldn't really relax until I got that second 8.75. Kobie and I are best friends so we were just out there having fun. We still take it seriously but are able to have a laugh, which is cool. It was great to have few good waves for this contest."
Enright didn't give up until the last buzzer sounded. Still needing two excellent scores to take the lead, she was able to post a solid 8.50 to give herself a fighting chance. Unfortunately, time was the enemy. And although she fell just short of the top spot, Enright couldn't be happier to share a Final with her World Junior Champion best friend.
"Getting second to the World Champion is all good," Enright said. "Macy is my best friend and is always pushing me to surf better, and that is never more the case than in a Final of a contest. It was a really fun contest and we were lucky to have good waves the whole time. Now Macy and I are off to the Subway Surf Series junior event in Cronulla tomorrow, which will be fun."