Another big day of competition at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach saw the field culled to just eight Quarterfinalists for the women, and 24 men.
Kai Hing, 16-year-old Hurley Australian Open of Surfing wildcard, is stepping up against the world's best surfers. The Sunshine Coaster won his heat with sharp turns and a critical air-reverse. Hing's heat win would see him advance to the Round of 24 while eliminating ASP WCT surfer Alejo Muniz.
"I didn't expect to win that, so I'm over the moon," Hing said. "I've been training a lot and my coach Matt King is here, some last minute words from him never hurt. I hadn't done an air at this event yet so I'm glad I did a good one and landed it. I think there's a lot of luck involved in a heat like that, I pulled a rabbit out of the hat."
Brazilian Peterson Crisanto took his surfing above the lip to secure a spot in Round 4 of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing. The regular-footer was the clear standout in a tough heat, winning with 16.00 out of 20 over Newcastle's Jake Sylvester, Lennox Head's Stu Kennedy and Yadin Nicol.
"The were a lot of top seeds in that heat so I just had to stick to my game plan and I got through," Crisanto said. "I'm a little sick and not feeling one hundred percent, so it's really good to get through. When you're sick you just have to rely on your passion and go as hard as you can and it worked today, I'm so happy."
Evan Geiselman, runner-up at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing in 2012, is stringing together another excellent performance in Manly in 2014. The goofy-footer was electric in the small beachbreak conditions, belting a 9.00 and an 8.17, easily advancing to the Round of 24 during his small-wave clinic.
"I'm more excited to be here now than the first year because I know I can do well out here," Geiselman said. "I got that 9.00 on an inside right, but it had a really good wall on it and it allowed me to do four or five turns, it was really fun. I'm really happy to be back in Manly, I'm so stoked that this contest is back on."
Mitch Coleborn was on point at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing, powering through the small surf with a variety of big turns. Coleborn will now take on Kai Hing and Oahu's Joshua Moniz in the Round of 24.
"It was a tough heat being up against three Brazilians in small waves," Coleborn said. "It's good to make it through that heat, I didn't do many ASP 6-Star events last year, I only focused on the Primes. Then at the end of the year I only missed out on qualifying for the WCT by 1000 points and who knows, I could have gotten those points at a 6-Star. I'm loving this event, I've got a lot of mates down here, I checked out the skateboarding yesterday and the guys were going loony and the Presets are playing tonight - it doesn't get much better than that."
While the men's action saw an eclectic mix of big scores and upsets, women's ASP 6-Star competition would whittle the field down to eight Quarterfinalists with reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore leading the charge.
Carissa Moore continued to tear through the rounds at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing while advancing to the Quarterfinals. Moore started her Round of 12 heat with an 8.7 (out of a possible 10) and put together an additional excellent score to take an effortless heat win. Moore's performance sets her a the leader amidst an event marked by Hawaiian dominance, with five Hawaiians taking up the eight Quarterfinals slots.
"I wasn't expecting the Hawaiians to be doing this well because we're not on our home ground and the surf is so small," Moore said. "I'm really happy for the Hawaiians, it's great. It's an exciting year for us, there's five Hawaiians on the women's ASP WCT this year and the last event of the year is in Maui! I'm so excited for the year ahead. I was surprised that Sally (Fitzgibbons) lost yesterday, because she's so good at finding waves and putting a good heat together."
For more event information log on to www.AustralianOpenofSurfing.com