It was the women's turn to take to the water on Day 2 of the Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar at Boomerang Beach. All of women's Round One ran, with a few heats of men's Round Three hitting the 3-to-4 foot peaks at Boomerang.
Currently leading the women's Qualifying Series ratings, Macy Callaghan from the Central Coast of NSW has been on a tear in 2017. Having surfed a lot of heats in smaller, sub-par waves this year, Callaghan was over the moon about the waves that arrived at Boomerang on Day 2. She took full advantage of the playful conditions, posting an excellent single-wave score of 8.75 (out of a possible 10) to take the heat win.
"It's so good that we have some decent waves here," Callaghan said. "We have had back-to-back contests since the start of the year and they've mostly been held in testing conditions, so it's nice to get some waves that we can open up on. I have family that live in this area so we come here a bit and always get great waves, so it's good to be here surfing a contest."
Another Central Coaster who put on a seriously impressive performance was Kirra-Belle Olsson. The young goofyfooter looked calm and composed on some of the more solid waves of the morning. Taking off on a big left, Olsson smashed a number of forehand hooks to post a near-perfect single-wave score of 9.35 to take the heat win.
"That was a tricky heat, there were plenty of waves but you had to be lucky to find them," Olsson said. "I found a few good ones out there. That nine was a really nice wave, it gave me plenty of time to think through my turns and finish it off nicely. When it is a bit bigger like this with power I prefer my forehand, so I'm stoked there were some lefts out there."
Philippa Anderson from Newcastle had a challenging first heat at Boomerang as a wind and rainsquall came through the lineup halfway through its duration. Unable to hear the announcer, Anderson wasn't sure if she had won or lost her heat when she returned to shore. Anderson had actually put all of her opponents in combination (needing two scores) with her heat total of 15.75.
"I had no idea what happened in that heat," Anderson said. "I couldn't really hear anything or see the waves the other girls were getting. I knew my scores would have been pretty good but I just didn't know if the other girls had posted good scores. When I came in and found out they were all in combination I was stoked."
Young Victorian surfer and Komunity Project team rider India Robinson may be one of the younger surfers in the draw, but you certainly can't tell when you see her competitive tenacity and commitment in bigger, unruly surf. Robinson posted a solid heat total of 15.75 to win her Round One heat.
"We get a lot of surf like this at home," Robinson said. "Even just the feeling of being in colder water makes me feel more like I'm at home. Down in Victoria there is always solid swell through winter so I feel like I definitely surf better in this sort of stuff."
The final heat of women's Round One saw Tweed Coast local Brittani Nicholl attacking the big, chunky peaks of Boomerang Beach. As her opponents looked indecisive in the big surf, Nicholl was going hard, taking off on the bigger waves and attacking the heaviest sections to get the nod from the judges and progress into Round Two.
"To be honest I had so much fun out there," Nicholl said. "I haven't been able to surf a lot lately and when I have it has been small, so I was just stoked to get some powerful surf. It was tough as my fitness is down because of the lack of swell. I hope the waves stay like this as I feel really comfortable, which I can use to my advantage."
The opening few hearts of Men's Round Three hit the water during the afternoon with contest directors aiming to finish it tomorrow along with Round Four and women's Round Two. Early standouts in Round Three included Australian's Chris Michalak and Noah Kearney along with Dane Mackie from Barbados.