Epic surf has continued to grace the long sand point at Kingscliff for Day 2 of the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro WSL Qualifying Series 1000 event. With the swell turning to a more southerly direction, competitors in Women's Round Two had a tough battle against strong currents but it didn't detract form some incredible performances.
Kirra-Belle Olsson continued her solid run of performances in her opening heat of competition posting the first perfect 10.00 point ride of the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro. Having already posted a solid 7.00, Olsson found the longest wave of the event and went to town, belting several backhand re-entries all the way to the beach to win the heat. Olsson also posted the highest heat total of the event so far, a 17.00 point two wave combination.
"I knew my first wave was a decent score so felt pretty comfortable," Olsson said. "Then I saw that long one pop up and knew it was a great wave. I kept hitting turns and it kept presenting these perfect sections so I kept going. I knew it would be a solid score but didn't think it was perfect so when they read out that it was a ten I was so stoked."
Fresh off back-to-back QS victories Kobie Enright comes into the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro as the woman to beat. Having grown up just up the road in Tweed Heads she is no stranger to the long points found in this area. This experience showed as she continued her incredible form winning her heat with a total of 14.25.
"There has been a lot of surf around here lately so I'm pretty exhausted at the moment," Enright said. "I knew the current would be intense out there so I was prepared for it. The last few events have had small conditions so I'm stoked we have such great surf here at the Tweed Coast, it makes all of the paddling worth it."
As the tide filled in during Heat Three of Women's Round Two, the current washing down the sand bank point increased rapidly making it easier to get back out by running up the point. This meant fitness along with luck was a major factor in finding the best waves. Ellie Brooks not only found the best waves but surfed them phenomenally, ripping in on her backhand to post the second highest heat total of the event so far, a 16.85 (out of a possible 20). This total included an excellent 9.00 point ride for a series of critical vertical snaps.
"Conditions today need a mixture of fitness and luck," Brooks said. "Fitness is super important when running back up the point then having to paddle out through all of those waves but I feel like I definitely had a bit of luck on my side finding the good waves. If you're in the right position you could find a really good one and get a decent score, it's just tough to find that position and stay there. Although it's hard work the waves are so fun, it should keep getting better throughout the day as well."
WSL Women's Big Wave Tour competitor Felicity Palmateer is no stranger to tough ocean conditions but listed today at Kingscliff as some of the strongest currents she's had to deal with. Luckily for Palmateer, she found a set wave off the bat and posted a 7.50 for a series of back-hand wraps. Although she was unable to find a solid backup, she had still done enough to take the heat.
"That was definitely some of the most intense water movement I've ever experienced," Palmateer said. "I was lucky enough to drift into the spot when a good wave came which didn't happen again. That wave felt really nice but I was so tired from all of the paddling that it was tough to get in a rhythm. I'm hoping to get a lower tide and less current for my next heat because I'm exhausted now."
Former World Junior Champion Isabella Nichols was on the ropes in her Round Two match-up left needing a midrange score in the dying minutes to progress into the next round. The Sunshine Coast native eventually found one of the nicest looking waves of the heat and got to work, wrapping three solid cutbacks to post a 6.00 point ride and progress in top spot.
"That was such a tough heat," Nichols said. "I couldn't get my head straight and was struggling to find a wave. It is definitely getting better out there as the tide drops and the current isn't as bad as it was earlier but I was definitely lucky to make it through."