Deivid Silva and Nikki Van Dijk won the 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000-level event today. After a week of epic conditions at Sydney's home of professional surfing, the final day was held in small testing conditions. Huge weekend crowds gathered to watch Silva take the victory of his career while Nikki nailed a second QS win at Manly.
Silva claimed the men's division ahead of fellow countryman Alejo Muniz. The light goofyfooter dominated in tiny waves throughout the 30-minute affair, nailing the only perfect 10-point ride of the entire event. His massive 18.84 wave total was too much for Muniz to handle and Silva took the win and 6,000 valuable QS points, heading into the year with a solid leg up.
"I'm so happy to win this event at this beach, it's so good and I feel so honored," he said. "This has given me such a good start for 2018 and to share the Final with such a good friend is the best feeling. This is the best win of my life so far and I'm so stoked to take it back for Brazil."
Spending a solid portion of last year injured, Muniz showed a stellar return to form, taking out the runner-up spot. He was unable to find the same gear he displayed in earlier heats, but remained stoked to share a final with a fellow Brazilian and get a solid result to start the season.
"This has been such a good start to 2018 for me," he said. "I got a 9th in Newcastle and now to come second to my great friend is a really good feeling. Even though I needed a combination of scores at the end, I'm still so stoked to get this result. Deivid and I have known each other for such a long time and I know his whole family so it doesn't hurt to lose to a friend like him."
The Sydney Women's Surf Pro final saw Nikki Van Dijk come up against Malia Manuel in what was a thrilling duel between the two WSL Championship Tour (CT) athletes. Along with valuable QS points and prize money, there were serious bragging rights on the line as both surfers searched for a second win at Manly. In 2016, Nikki took the win over Malia and in 2018, it was a repeat result with her posting an excellent 8 point ride along with a 6.53 for a total of 14.53. The Phillip Island native now heads into the first event of the CT, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, full of confidence.
"This has been such a fun week," Nikki said. "Coming up against Malia was always going to be tough so I knew I'd have to rip every wave the best I could. I won this event two years ago and Malia won last year so there was definitely some rivalry out in the water so I was happy to come out on top. I'm so keen for the CT to start next week at Snapper Rocks but for now I'm going to just enjoy this win."
In her third straight final appearance at Manly, Malia looked on point, posting a 14.10 two-wave total to give herself a chance at going back-to-back at Sydney's biggest professional surfing event. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian natural footer she couldn't find the 7.44 required to take the lead and was forced to finish runner-up to Nikki once again.
"Regardless of the conditions it's been a really fun week," she said. "It was a great challenge coming up against all of these women and in some tough waves but as always at Manly, the atmosphere was great. Apart from the last two days the waves were incredible, I've been surfing so much since I arrived. It was cool to meet Nikki in the Final again here at Manly it feels like just yesterday that we were facing off last time. I'm really excited ahead of the CT season and a final to kick it off is a great way to prepare for Snapper."