An absolutely picture perfect day greeted competitors at Avoca for day two of the Central Coast Pro as the event kicked off another huge day of competition.
After an uncharacteristic finish at her last contest appearance at the Burleigh Pro, Novocastrian Philippa Anderson (AUS) looked to be back on track, posting two medium scores, a 6.75 and a 6.00 early in round two of the women's. Anderson's tactic to get two scores on the board early was a smart one with the waves slowing as the tide filled in.
"It was a little bit slow out there but they were good when they came," Anderson said. "I just tried to keep busy. I didn't think I would get a score on the right that I got because it didn't feel that good then I got a 6.00 so I was happy with that. It's cool having an event so close to home; I've just been driving down each day, which is so handy. It's a great spot and today's such a beautiful day so I'm really happy to make it through."
Seed No. 2 Justine Dupont (FRA) stamped her authority on the contest posting the highest heat total of the second round of the women's, a 15.80 (out of a possible 20). In a heat jam-packed with lefthanders, the natural footer from France chose the rare righthanders, putting down some long and smooth rail carves to progress through her heat with ease.
"That was not only my first heat of the contest, but my first of the year which made it a bit tricky," Dupont said. "The waves are fun out there so I'm glad to be here doing this contest at Avoca. I'm heading to Newcastle and Manly after this so it's great training for me, I just hope I can keep making heats and the waves stay fun."
Central Coast local, Macy Callaghan (AUS) was in the box seat as her heat came to a close until Ella Williams (NZL) took off on a set wave in the dying seconds laying down three huge backhand hits to take the lead. Luckily for Callaghan she only dropped into second and will progress to round two with Williams.
"I was really nervous in that heat especially in the last minute," Callaghan said. "It was pretty slow through that heat so I wanted to catch as many waves as I could because I never knew when it might have gone flat. I'm loving having a contest here at home, I surf here a lot and my house is close so I'm feel super comfortable."
Men's round three got off to an absolute flying start with Dean Bowen (AUS) putting on a near flawless display of backhand surfing to post the highest heat total of the contest so far, a 19.20, including a near perfect single wave score of 9.90. Opting to sit on a separate peak to his opponents, Bowen waited patiently until a flurry of perfectly shaped righthanders landed on Bowen who went to town, pulling off a number of vertical re-entries on his way to a dominant victory.
"Everyone was sitting down the beach so I thought I'd sit on my own, and it seemed to pay off," Bowen said. "It was a bit slow at the start then the waves just started to pump and I was just sitting there by myself so I got every wave I wanted. My board felt really good and I just felt in rhythm. It was cool having a heat with Jacob (Willcox), I'm a big fan of his, he is one of my favorite young guys coming through, he has a really good all round package so it would be cool to meet him again later in the contest."
Another patient competitor was Slade Prestwich (ZAF) who was unable to find a decent wave for the majority of his heat. Prestwich, who was mainly searching for lefthanders was gifted a long right with only 20 seconds remaining in the heat. Prestwich was able to lay down three massive turns to post a 7.75 and progress to Round 4.
"I wanted to stay busy as that's what I usually do, but I couldn't find waves so it ended up being a bit of a waiting game," Prestwich said. "I didn't really know what score I needed but I knew it was a decent one, when I saw that right come through I knew it would be the score. It's been good here on the Central Coast, I've been getting some fun waves around the place so it's been sick."
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.