Perfect 3-to-5 foot point surf greeted Qualifying Series (QS) competitors on opening day of the QS 1,000 Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro, a rare mobile event that allows officials to change locations to chase the best surf. With a solid swell sweeping up the East Coast of Australia, officials made the most of what was on offer at Kingscliff, in Northern NSW on Tuesday, knocking out two rounds of men and one round of women.
Kingscliff local Codie Klein was always going to be a hard one to beat at her home break. With increasing swell and strong currents, Klein's local knowledge came into play as she seemed to be on the right waves when others couldn't find them. She posted a modest heat-winning total of 10.50 to take the heat win.
"This is the best I have seen the sand here for a while so thought it could be a possibility that the event would be here today," Klein said. "I hadn't surfed here much in the last few years but as soon as I get out there it is so familiar, which definitely helps. It's a great spot for an event and having all the shops right here it is awesome for the local community so I'm stoked to have everyone in town."
Margaret River's Mia McCarthy looked comfortable in the tricky conditions, surfing sharp, and with pace. The stylish natural footer found the majority of scoring waves in her heat to take a convincing win and progress into the next Round.
"We are so lucky to have conditions like this today," McCarthy said. "It's an amazing the bank here offering some of the most fun waves I've ever had in a contest. I hope it keeps coming over the next few days."
Phillip Island native Joe Van Dijk is a big fan of the mobile format of the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro. Van Dijk reveled in the long walls at Kingscliff posting the highest heat total of the event so far, a 17.40 for his super powerful forehand attack.
"It's so sick that this event can move around," Van Dijk said. "I'm sure nowhere in this area is breaking as good as here, it is pumping at the moment. It's nice to come to an event and be able to showcase our surfing in really good waves. Apparently, it's going to continue like this over the next few days so I'm stoked."
After a few tough heats recently in below par conditions, McKenzie Bowden from New Zealand was ecstatic to arrive at Kingscliff and find grinding right-hand barrels on offer for Day 1 of competition. It was evident in his surfing as he posted an excellent heat total 16.75 for a combination of long tube rides and aggressive in the lip surfing.
"The last few events I've surfed at haven't had very good waves so this is amazing to have the conditions we have here today," Bowden said. "Getting barrels in a heat is always so sick so I'm really pumped at the moment. I knew I was getting good scores but I had no idea if the other guys were getting better ones so had no idea if I was going to make the heat. Even if I was going to lose I was still having so much fun out there."
Joshua Cattlin from Western Australia has surfed at an event in Kingscliff before and it just so happened to be pumping then as well. It is safe to say Cattlin wasn't too surprised when he returned for Day 1 of the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro. The goofy-footers pace matched the waves on offer well as he took out his heat with a total of 12.70
"Last time I was here the waves were amazing as well," Cattlin said. "It is a little tough to pick the right ones but when you do they are amazing. It's so good surfing heats in waves this good. Preparing is easy because you are so excited to get out there and get one."