Day one of the inaugural Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar Energy Drink got underway in playful, punchy two-foot surf, giving each competitor plenty of opportunity to showcase his or her small-wave repertoire.
Luke Hynd (AUS) put on a powerful display of backside surfing in his opening exchange of the mens division to take an exciting victory. In a heat that saw the lead pinball back-and-forth multiple times over the 20-minute affair, Hynd was able to shoot from third to first on the strength of an excellent 8.75 scoring wave, thus progressing into Round 3.
"I was nervous out there, seeing as though I know there's swell on the way and really wanted to make into the next round," said Hynd. "Thankfully I got that one wave and posted the eight."
After finishing second in the recent Central Coast Pro at Avoca last week, Shane Holmes (AUS)continued to dominate the lineup notching up an impressive 8.50 wave score, which consequently put his fellow competitors on the ropes in the opening round. However, Holmes' campaign came to a grinding halt in the second round when he faced off with recent Subway Surf Series Pro Junior Champion Ethan Ewing (AUS) and Harry Bryant (AUS) who bagged a series of respectable scores and the two progressing positions.
"That wasn't the ideal finish to this event," said Holmes. "I felt good in the first round, but I didn't pick the best waves in the last heat at all. Both Ethan and Harry surfed solid heats, so congrats to them."
On the women's side Alyssa Lock put on a really strong performance, taking an impressive heat victory and posting an near-excellent 7.25 in her Round 1 heat. The lanky goofyfooter is fresh off her runner-up finish at the Subway Surf Series Pro Junior last weekend and is now feeling confident in going into the second round.
"Having decent waves makes everything so much more fun," said Lock. "There a no easy heats in this event at any stage, so to get the win in the first round is a giant relief."
Japan's Nagisa Tashiro clocked a win for the international surfing contingent, taking out an exciting heat between Hawaiian Zoey McDougall, Aussie Eliza Greene, and the USA'a Brooke Daigneault. Tashiro dominated the international heat posting a 7.75 that gave her the upper-hand. Both McDougall and Tashiro advanced through the heat and will appear in Round 2.
"I got a few good waves and I'm so happy," said Tashiro. "I've come to Australia many times over the last few years and I love competing here. I want to keep improving as I get through more heats."
Burleigh Pro winner Macy Callaghan of Australia stormed into the next round of the event, posting the highest heat total of the morning - 16.00 (out of a possible 20 points). She continues to dominate with her aggressive approach, and left the rest of the field chasing two wave combinations to snake her lead.
"This first round victory has given me a good confidence boost," said Callaghan. "I was just trying to get the biggest waves I could possibly get and I'm fortunate that I was holding priority when they came in."
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.