The inaugural Central Coast Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event got off to a flying start today as the elite four-day event began with playful two-foot peaks.
India Robinson (AUS) made light work of her Round 1 exchange, latching onto multiple long walls that allowed for an eclectic mix of frontside turns. The Victorian surfer has been continuing her winning momentum since taking out the 2015 Maxum Women's Pro Junior and has been dubbed one to watch as the event edges toward the finals.
"It's always good to take a win in the opening round, it builds your confidence going into the next few rounds," said Robinson. "I have been training a lot at the High Performance Centre and with my coach Adam Robertson and both have really helped me prepare for the year ahead."
Sophie McCulloch (AUS) wasted little time making her intentions known in the opening round of the women's division, posting two scores in the mid-eight point range and finishing the heat with a healthy heat total of 16.80 (out of a possible 20 points). The Sunshine Coast surfer will make her next appearance in the Round 2.
"I prefer surfing on my forehand, so I was happy there were a few good righthanders for me to generate some scores," said McCulloch. "All the girls have been ripping in preparation for this event and it really emphasizes the fact that there really are no easy heats."
After taking out the Telstra Stores Tweed Coast Pro less than a week ago, Jacob Willcox (AUS) continued to steam-roll through his opening round at the Central Coast Pro. Willcox exchanged multiple blows with local whiz-kid Sandon Whittaker (AUS) (AUS) with both goofyfooters posting a variety of respectable scores, however it was the Western Australia surfer who got the nod, with Whittaker taking the runner-up spot.
"You definitely carry a lot of confidence after a win, but you really need to pull yourself back and remember that it's a new comp, new heats and different conditions," said Willcox. "There's a lot of amazing surfers in this event and I think it'll only continue to get better as we get further into the heat draw."
Jesse Adam (AUS) put on a display of steely focus and determination; nabbing a Round 2 win from recent Subway Surf Series Pro Junior winner Quinn Bruce As a result, both Bruce and Adam cemented their position into tomorrow's third round.
"I've been enjoying surfing earlier rounds as it's almost like a risky warmup," said Adam. "I knew Quinn was dangerous out there, especially coming off a win in WA, so to get a win over someone like him who is on a bit of a roll."
All competitors are advised to ring the event hotline (0458 247 212) by 6.45am on the days of competition to confirm location and running order.
NSW Pro Surf Series Dates and Locations:
Carve Pro - Maroubra Beach, NSW 15 - 17 January, 2016
Tweed Coast Pro - Cabarita Beach, NSW 1 - 4 Feb 2016
Central Coast Pro - Avoca Beach, NSW 9 - 12 Feb 2016
Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar - Boomerang Beach, NSW 15 - 18 Feb 2016
The NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian and international surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The Series also creates a NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
The 2016 NSW Pro Surf Series is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series is also proudly supported by Randwick City Council, Gosford City Council, Destination Tweed, Great Lakes Council & Tourism, NBN, World Surf League and Surfing NSW.