One of Victoria's biggest swell magnets, Cape Woolamai, has lived up to its reputation on Day 2 of the Phillip Island Pro QS1,000 with competitors feasting on clean 4-to-6 foot surf for Men's Round Two.
With huge sets and strong currents to deal with, experience and local knowledge paid off and competitors didn't come much more local than Joe Van Dijk. The exciting young natural footer looked comfortable in the powerful surf, ripping in on his backhand to post a heat total of 15.50, the second highest of the day.
"It was super clean out there in the morning and massive." Said van Dijk. "There was a lot of energy in the ocean so it made it hard work to get in the right position. Once you get one though, they are awesome. This is the biggest surf I have been in since I hurt my ankle earlier in the year so it was a good test of it. It's fun to have everyone here on the Island because this place is so underrated as a surf destination. I'm stoked to have so many good surfers come down and compete."
Hailing from the South Coast of New South Wales, Lucas Wrice is no stranger to cold water and heavy surf. Wrice utilised both the lefts and the rights on offer to post a heat total of 16.00, the highest of the event so far.
"I'm really happy to get through that first heat," Wrice said. "It was super challenging out there but when you found one they were sick. I love coming to Philip Island. There are always waves here and it's a really relaxed little area."
Another Southern Australian who looked comfortable at times that others didn't was Victor Harbour's Max Longhurst. The razor sharp goofy-footer seemed at home in the big stuff to claim an opening round victory in the shifty swell.
"The wind changed in our heat which made it a bit tricky, but everyone was in the same boat so it wasn't an issue," Longhurst said. "I had to grind that heat out and find a smaller backup wave to my first one. But I'm stoked to make it through. This region is similar to home for me, its so nice being able to surf great waves and not have houses or buildings on the coastline."
Billy Stairmand from New Zealand also relished in the tough seas to lock himself a spot in Round Three.
"I'm super stoked to be here on Phillip Island" said Stairmand. "The waves were pretty big and wild out there, but I'm happy to make that first heat and move through."