The 2019 Carve Pro got underway in one-foot waves at Maroubra today in a day that saw wind, heat, and rain as competitors attempted to edge through the opening Round of competition.
Following a victory at the 2018 Vissla Central Coast Pro, Shane Holmes showed a stellar return to WSL QS competition today manhandling small sections with precision and style. Holmes was able to link together a chain of solid turns and snaps to post a 13.10 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to earn his position straight into the second round.
"I'm really thankful that I got that heat out of the way prior to the southerly popping up and tearing through the lineup," Holmes said. "I chose to sit wide with priority for a while until a set came and thankfully one did. It's always good to get the first heat out of the way and hopefully get a roll on going into round two."
After QS victories in Phillip Island and South Africa in 2018, Jordan Lawler made it clear that he wanted to add some more accomplishments to his portfolio, dominating the minuscule peaks to post a respectable 12.65 two-wave heat total and leave his closest rival needing a near-perfect 9.2 wave to take away his lead. Lawler will face Callum Robson, Dylan Groen and Finn Hill in Round 2.
"Those waves out there were insanely difficult," said Lawler. "It is pretty hard to develop a gameplan when it's like that, so I just took off on whatever little peaks came my way. Hopefully, this wind means the swell will increase overnight and we'll see some bigger swell for round two."
Kirra-Belle Olsson entered the lineup with a ton of enthusiasm and proceeded to find a handful of little peaks with enough energy to execute a handful of decent turns that were duly rewarded with a decent 11.20 two-wave total. Olsson will face Philippa Anderson, Charli Hurst and Talina Wilson in round two tomorrow.
"I had really pumped myself up for that heat and was excited to hit the water," said Olsson. "The entire lineup was a bit of a lucky dip, but luckily I got a couple of punchy sections that I could do a few little backhand turns on."
The elite four-day QS 1000 rated event will form the first of three stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and will take place in Maroubra Beach from the 23rd January - 26th January