- WSL / Ethan Smith
- WSL / Ethan Smith

The 2019 Mothernest Great Lakes Pro saw a rapid decline in conditions today as male and female competitors battled it out in bumpy and windy three-to-four foot waves.

Alyssa Spencer made her mark on her third round heat, finding a multitude of punchy waves in the tricky conditions. Spencer broke away from the pack in the heat, scoring a healthy amount of left and right-handers, which allowed her to post a solid 14.55 two-wave heat total.

"That was a really tricky heat," said Spencer. "There was a lot of wind out there which made it quite difficult, but when the waves stood up, there was still a lot of power in them. I'm so glad to get through that heat. I'm in Australia for close to two months this year and events like this are the perfect way to get your year off to a solid start."

In a heat that could have resembled a lot of QS finals, Tru Starling, Felicity Palmateer, Zahli Kelly and Molly Picklum faced off in an attempt to score a spot into the fourth round. All four surfers showed moments of brilliance, however, Picklum and Kelly were able to nail down the top two progressing positions thanks to posting a series of respectable scores in the six-point range that allowed them to take narrow leads.

"That heat was so stacked with good surfers," said Picklum. "I knew it was going to be tough, so I just wanted to stay busy and ensure I used my priority to my advantage. It's definitely a confidence boost to get through a heat like that with the level of talent that's in the water."

After a standout performance at the recent nudie Australian Boardriders Battle National Final for his beloved North Shore Boardriders, Alister Reginato (Sunshine Coast, Qld) returned to surfing for himself at Boomerang Beach today. Reginato bravely nailed an array of mammoth sections to post a respectable 13.05 two-wave heat total to cement his position into the third round. Coincidentally, also moving through the heat in second position was Reginato's North Shore Boardriders Club team-mate Taj Stokes (Sunshine Coast, Qld)

"Even though the wind was horrible out there, the waves were kinda fun and would still allow you to do some big turns," said Reginato. "The past weekend at the Australian Boardriders Battle was so fun and I think Taj and I have come into this event frothing on the back of the result."

As a late entry into the Mothernest Great Lakes Pro, QS standout Rio Waida (Bali) has been forced to surf through the first rounds of competition. Nevertheless, Waida didn't look fazed about having to contest the lower seeded rounds in round two today as he executed some giant turns in the shifty conditions and as a result, posted a decent 15.00 two-wave heat total.

"I felt like I spent a lot of that heat duckdiving and the wind made it really hard to hear scores," said Waida. "It wasn't until I came in and I was told that I got an 8.00 and a 7.00 wave, which I'm stoked on. I hope I can keep the roll going."

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