Local surfers have benefitted from a home ground advantage with the WSL Cape Naturaliste Pro kicking off in testing conditions at Yallingup Main Break today. Men's Round 1 heats were completed in unruly and windswept swells with surfers battling the elements on the opening day of Yallingup's first ever WSL Qualifying Series (QS) event.
The Cape Naturaliste Pro is the second event of the Western Australian Pro Surf Series and powerful six-foot surf provided a challenge for the international field of surfers who have converged to compete.
Felix Leaver started his campaign strongly powering through the lumpy seas with ease. Picking off the best-shaped waves on offer, Leaver smashed the right handers at Yallingup to score a two wave combined total of 12.10 (from a possible 20) that included a heat high 7.25 (from a possible 10).
"Its pretty tricky out there, you need to pick the eyes out of it to find the good ones," said Leaver. "I'm stoked to get that one out of the way and with a tricky forecast it's good to get a few waves out at Yalls as I don't surf here that much."
Zak Ogram also who found the conditions to his liking, using his powerful surfing to post the highest combined total on day one. Ogram a local surfboard shaper amassed 13.50 and will be a surfer to watch if the conditions reaming challenging.
"I've surfed out there a thousand times when it's like this, so I'm stoked it's finally paying off," said Ogram. "It was actually good fun out there, when it onshore like this the waves can actually stand up and provide some sections, I'm stoked to have a win and be moving through."
Others to shine in the difficult Round 1 conditions included; Callum Robson, Jake Edwards, Maddy Job, Hinata Aizawa, Ben Gradisen and Riley Laing, who all progressed through to Round 2 of competition.
Surf conditions are set to ease tomorrow with lighter winds and an easing swell forecast. A call will be made a 7am tomorrow morning with a possible 8am start with Men's Round 2 heats. Women's Round 1 will be on stand by.