The 20th Annual Whalebone Classic LQS commenced under grey skies, with stormy conditions challenging some of Australia's best longboard competitors.
Conditions couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of a small, but illustrious field of male and female competitors who converged on Isolators Reef in Cottesloe to contest the opening rounds.
Surfers battled through periods of heavy rain and cool onshore winds, with lumpy and bumpy 2-3 feet swells on offer off Cottesloe. In true spirit of the Whalebone Classic, the weather cleared and provided improved conditions, with men's and women's semi finalists decided after an enthralling opening day of competition.
Just 0.8 separated the pair when the final siren sounded, giving White a massive confidence boost going into tomorrow's semi finals.
"Georgia was surfing really well and the conditions were really tricky so I was just wrapped to get a couple of waves," said Tully. "This is my first time to WA and so far so good, I had some fun freesurfs and looks like conditions will improve for the rest of the event."
WA's Jack Medland found the conditions to his liking, powering through the unruly seas with ease. Medland won the opening heat of the morning, before taking down Victoria'sBen Considine in the man-on-man quarterfinals.
"I prefer the conditions like this to be honest, there's a bit more opportunity out there when it's like this and the waves have a bit more push behind them," said Medland. "I love surfing off the tail of my board and it feels nice to wet the rail on such a big board."
"That was a do or die heat for me, I've been doing the WSL Longboard Tour for a while now and I put it all on the line out there trying to qualifying for the World Championships next year," said Bevan. "I surf a lot of onshore conditions at home through the summer, but to be through to the semi's keeps the dream alive for me that bit longer."
Jack Entwistlewill take on WA's Anthony Spencer in semi final two, after taking down fellow NSW surfer Michael Cottierin his quarterfinal. Entwistle looked on song as conditions begun to improve, using strong rail turns and graceful footwork to post the highest two-wave combination of the day, 17.05 (from a possible 20), which included an 8.75 and 8.30.
"It's always great to come over to WA and I'm stoked to be here to celebrate the Whalebone's 20th anniversary," said Entwistle. "I heard the wind and rain all night and thought that we'd be in for a tough day, but the waves were actually pretty fun out there and I'm stoked to dropped some good scores."
"This is my first time to Western Australia and with no longboard competitions in Japan until September I thought I should come here," said Taoka. "Last year I finished 9th at the World Championships and I really want to surf in that competition once again."