History was made today as the first ever Phillip Island Pro QS1,000 kicked off at Cape Woolamai on Victoria's pristine Phillip Island. With some of Australia's hungriest Qualifying Series competitors on hand and 2- foot windblown peaks on offer, event directors powered through the Round One of the men's event.
West Aussie Jacob Willcox hasn't had the best run on the QS recently and is keen to make amends as the 2017 season comes to a close. This was made very evident as he took out his first heat at Phillip Island with the highest heat total of the event so far, 15.50 points. Willcox bested Victorian junior Bohdie Williams who placed in second and Felix Lever who placed in third.
"It was good to get that first heat out of the way," Willcox said. "The conditions were hard but there was definitely a few fun ones out there. Its been about seven years since I have been to Phillip Island. Its great to be back, the waves are super fun and it's a lot like home for me."
Central Coast prodigy Caleb Tancred brought his trademark stylish attack to Woolamai and it didn't go unnoticed as he also progressed into Round Two in top spot. Tancred made light work of the tough conditions to post an impressive heat total of 14.10 points.
"I got really lost in the first 10 minutess of the heat, but I was lucky that I got those couple at the end," Tancred said. "This is my first time to Phillip Island, its super nice down here. There are a bunch of good waves and you always seem to be able to find your own little peak."
Former WSL Championship Tour competitor and now WSL water safety guru Glyndyn Ringrose was the lone male local surfer to move through to Round Two on the opening day. The razor-sharp goofy footer placed in second behind Thomas Cervi who found the highest wave score of the heat, a 7.75.
"It's really great to have a QS event back on the Island. The whole town has been talking about the event and its created a real buzz," Ringrose said.
Te Kehukehu Butler impressed the crowd with the single-highest wave score of the round, a 8.5 on his way to a Round One win. The Kiwi has been turning heads all season and Round One at the Phillip Island Pro was no exception as he looks to lock in important QS points.
"I wanted to make sure that kept busy throughout that heat and ensure that I get on the best waves in the heat," Butler said. "I love the waves over here on Phillip Island, it's a lot like my home town. There are so many banks up and down the beach."