The Carve Pro WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event has continued today in building 3-to-4 foot surf at Sydney's Maroubra Beach. It was a massive day of competition with Men's and Women's Round 2 being completed which saw some of the event's top seeds hitting the water.
NSW north coast resident Robbie Rickard got his 2017 of to a great start with a solid win in Heat 5 of Round 2. Rickard was slow to get moving, not catching a wave until almost halfway through the heat. He eventually found a long left hander and kept it rolling, posting a heat total of 12.20 (out of a possible 20) and progresses into the third Round.
"I was pretty freaked out at the start of that heat as it took me ages to get one," Rickard said. "When I finally got one I fell into a bit of a rhythm as good waves kept popping up for me as I was paddling back out. Once I started getting those ones it was a really fun heat."
After an impressive run last week at the World Junior Championship, South African Jordy Maree continued his winning form today at Maroubra. Maree's backhand is solid and he knows it, opting for the right handers to post his winning heat total of 13.25.
"Having a good result at the WJC just last week has definitely helped my confidence," Maree said. "With the wind blowing into the faces of the rights they were staying open for longer. This was good for me, as I really like surfing on my backhand, it's a definite strength of mine."
Months of surfing knee-high conditions gave Gold Coaster Mitchell Parkinson an advantage in the second round of competition today as he took on local surfer Max McGuigan, West Australian Duke Nagtzaam and New Zealander Mackenzie Bowden. The powerful natural-footer posted an excellent 9.00 for a critical aerial manoeuvre into the flats of the wave to get the advantage over his aforementioned opponents and seal his position in the third round.
"I'm stoked to get my campaign underway with that heat," said Parkinson. "I've been surfing some pretty average waves over the last two or so months, so I got pretty excited when I saw the surf here. Hopefully they hang around and I can keep getting through heats."
American goofy-footer Knox Harris has been soaking up plenty of time in the water during his maiden trip to Australia and today managed to squeak through the second round of Men's competition. In a tight battle between second, third and fourth, Harris did just enough to get the upper-hand against his fellow surfers, performing an array of frontside and backside snaps to progress through the heat alongside Gold Coast powerhouse Dextar Muskens.
"This is a super fun beachbreak, the weather has been good and the water is nice. I'm stoked to be here," said Harris. "I'm pretty happy to get through the second round, my goal really is to do well in all the 1,000 rated events in Australia and if I'm lucky, maybe get into some of the 6,000 events."
Young Indonesian sensation Rio Waida continued to turn heads during his Round 2 appearance. The powerful natural-footer attacked the heavy shore-break, landing critical floaters with ease to move into the seeded round 3 against some of his idols.
"I have been to Australia a few times and love it," Waida said. "Surfing in the QS events is such a different experience for me. It is pretty intimidating surfing against the older guys so it's so cool to take the win. The waves have been flat all week so the swell we have today is actually really good."
Heat 1 of Women's Round 2 saw the event's No.1 seed Philippa Anderson pick up where she left off in 2016. Although carrying an injury, Anderson never looked like going down and looked focused as she begins her 2017 with Championship Tour (CT) qualification being her top priority.
"I hurt my back recently so haven't been surfing much at all, Anderson said. It didn't matter for that heat as the waves were quite good. I had a great end to my competitive season in 2016 so to get a few of these 1000 event's to warm up at early in the year is great. Apparently we have a solid swell coming over the next few days so I'm excited to see what that holds"
Macy Callaghan maybe the new Women's World Junior Champion but all she has on her mind at the moment is the Carve Pro. The young central coaster surfed a smart heat in the difficult high tide conditions taking the best waves to progress into Round 3 with a heat total of 11.65.
"I was way more nervous in that heat than I was in the WJC final," Callaghan said. "All of the competitors at this event have so much experience so you can't take any heat lightly. We surfed around the high tide so it was hard to pick the waves that ran for a while. Thankfully I did find a few of them and make the most of them."
Another young Australian who has recently had a win is India Robinson who took out the first Junior event of the year at her local Bells Beach on the weekend. Robinson looked comfortable against the older competitors leading from start to finish. Robinson displayed wave selection and patience far beyond her years to narrowly win one of the closer heats of the day.
"Winning at Bells on the weekend has definitely boosted my confidence," Robinson said. "A good result is always good for your confidence so to have a win in my first event of the year is awesome. I'm hoping I can carry that momentum through this event as it is so different surfing against the QS girls."