Boomerang Beach treated the Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar to pumping surf on Day 3 of competition. Competitors in men's Round Four and women's Round Two scored clean, 4-to-5-foot waves, light winds and blue skies on the third stop of the Vissla Surfing NSW Pro Surf Series.
Tomas Fernandes from Portugal is known for his razor-sharp backhand surfing. The naturalfooter was in for a treat at Boomerang on Day 3 as he relished in the long, open-walled lefthanders. Fernandes posted a mixture of critical and on-rail surfing to win his heat with a total of 17.70.
"You have to be really selective out there," Fernandes said. "The waves are firing today, but it is hard to be in the right position so you can't just take any wave. I feel like I surfed a good heat and hope I can continue it tomorrow. The waves should continue to be good, so I'm stoked."
Lliam Mortensen came out of the gate charging in his Round Four heat, posting his winning total of 13.50 early in the 20-minute encounter. Mortensen then felt comfortable enough to catch a few waves and try some big turns. After falling on a couple, Mortensen wasn't sure at the end if he'd done enough to progress. Luckily his opponents struggled to find the waves and scores they were after and gifted Lliam the win.
"I knew at the start that my scores would have been okay," he said. "I was kind of comfortable with how I was sitting and then it started to go downhill. I kept falling and I couldn't see the waves the others were getting so I was freaking out until I got to the beach and heard that I'd won."
Training and running have become a big part of a professional surfer's life, and that extra fitness has been a factor at Boomerang. After grabbing a long left all the way to the beach, Guadeloupe's Timothee Bisso was forced to come in and run 200 meters up the sand and paddle back out. After all of this, he was still left needing a score with seconds remaining in the heat. Luckily, he managed to find another clean wall on the inside, earning himself a buzzer-beater win.
"That heat was really intense," Bisso said. "Ideally in a heat you don't want to have to come in, run up the beach and paddle back out. After that happened I knew it was going to be hard to come back, but luckily I found another long left. It is great that the swell is here but it sure is hard work."
Having surfed in six events already in 2017, Macy Callaghan hasn't spent much time in quality waves. That all changed today when she paddled out at Boomerang Beach. Callaghan showed she's just as impressive in the big stuff as she is in small waves, posting a solid heat total of 14.35 (out of a possible 20) with some critical backhand surfing.
"It looks a lot easier from the beach, that's for sure," Callaghan said. "It was hard to find the good ones so I'm stoked to just get through. It's good that we have some solid surf for everyone to rip into. I much prefer the bigger surf. I feel like it suits my surfing a lot."
Callaghan's good friend Kobie Enright also put on a great performance in the solid surf posting the highest heat total of the Round (14.75). Enright also prefers the more solid surf and enjoyed the opportunity to throw down some big turns but it came at an expense, as getting out through the solid surf was a chore in itself.
"I got so smashed out there," Enright said. "I don't think I have ever been so smashed during a heat. In saying that, it was really fun out there. I really struggle in the smaller surf, so this is awesome to have some solid stuff during a comp. It doesn't happen very often for us, so I'm just enjoying it."
Growing up with Honolua Bay as her local spot, Hawaii's Summer Macedo is no stranger to solid surf. The naturalfooter put on an awesome display of smooth, drawn-out rail turns to win her heat.
"I only just made it out the back before my heat," Macedo said. "The sets just kept landing on my head and pushing me back so when I got out I was really tired -- but I guess it worked out. Coming from Hawaii I surf a lot of big waves so I was super comfortable even when I was getting those big ones on the head. I like small waves as well but bigger is fun."
The day finished with a bang as Brazil's Rafael Teixeira and Weslley Dantas both locked in dominant heat wins, scoring two nine-point-plus rides each. Both surfers timed each turn to perfection as they bashed and carved the solid surf to bits. The event's top seed Keanu Asing also scored a near-perfect 9.50 in his first competition appearance of 2017 to easily advance to the next Round.