NewsVissla Central Coast Pro pres by SlimesSarah Baum

Shane Holmes and Sarah Baum Win at Avoca

Shane Holmes and Sarah Baum have taken out the 2018 Vissla Central Coast Pro presVissla Central Coast Pro pres by Slimes Boardstore, following a day of exciting action in clean three-to-four foot waves at Avoca Beach.

Line Up Line Up on Finals Day. WSL / Ethan Smith

Central Coast native Shane Holmes fulfilled his goal of winning an elite Qualifying Series event, taking out the men's final. Holmes seemed to hit his peak over the duration of the final notching up two excellent scoring waves - 8.50 and 9.15 to amass an impressive 17.65 heat total. Holmes executed a barrage of giant backside snaps to get the win over Jordin Watson who was left chasing a two-wave combination to take away Holmes' lead. After finishing in second position in multiple QS events over the years, Holmes is stoked to finally get the monkey off his back.

"This is the best feeling," said Holmes. "I've been doing the QS for a few years now and have come second in events in the past, but I haven't been able to get myself a win. To claim a victory at a beach that's only 20 minutes away from where I live feels insane. Hopefully, I can get a few more decent results in the next six months or so to help my seed going into the back end of the year."

Shane Holmes winning semi-final 1 at the  Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Shane Holmes WSL / Ethan Smith

Following a several year hiatus from competition, Jordin Watson made his mark on the 2018 Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Boardstore. Having got the backing of his local Culburra Beach Boardriders following their victory at the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle, Watson returned to competing at Avoca and proceeded to turn heads with his lightning-fast snaps and carves, which he used to positive effect over the course of the entire event. Enroute to the final, Jordin even shared a semi-final with older brother Ty to seal a position into the final.

"This event really was a bit of a dream," said Watson. "It was originally going to be a bit of a comeback event, but I ended up sharing some pretty special moments like having a semi-final with my brother and making the final. I'm definitely pretty stoked with how it all went."

Jordin Watson progressing through Quarterfinal 3 at the Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Jordin Watson WSL / Ethan Smith

After impressing the judges and spectators with powerful forehand snaps, Sarah Baum proceeded to go from strength-to-strength as she attacked the final with a combination of technical snaps and carves. Baum was able to gain the upper hand against local surfer Kirra-Belle Olsson thanks to a decent 7.25 wave score for a chain of strong forehand snaps. The victory has been Baum's biggest win to date.

"I'm feeling so stoked right now," said Baum. "We had such good waves over the course of the event and I felt like I was surfing pretty well in most of my heats. This is definitely one of my biggest results to date for sure and to have pretty good waves for the final day was definitely the cherry on top of an awesome week."

Sarah Baum was eliminated in quarterfinal 4 at the 2018 Vissla Great Lakes Pro pres. by DBlanc. Sarah Baum WSL / Ethan Smith

Being able to sleep in her own bed and ride a bike to the event each day proved to pay dividends for Avoca local Kirra-Belle Olsson as she worked her way into her first QS final. Olsson remained busy over the course of the final exchange with Baum, catching 11 waves, but struggled to find the required 6.51 needed to knock her opposition from the top spot.

"This is my first final in a QS event, so I'm pretty happy right now," said Olsson. "It's nice to be able to have an event like this so close to where I live and I think I was able to keep a good routine over the course of the event. My parents were here supporting me over the week as well which makes the result so much better."

Kirra-Belle Olsson Progresses at the 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro in Manly Kirra-Belle Olsson WSL / Tom Bennett
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