The stage has been set for what is sure to be an epic Final Day of the 2019 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro pres. by Sisstrevolution, QS6,000 events. Manly continued to deliver the goods with more super clean 2-to-3 foot waves on offer for some of the world's best surfers. Competitors made good use of conditions, posting some of the biggest scores of the event so far.
Round 5 of the Sydney Women's Pro presented by Sisstrevolution saw some of the strongest and most consistent performances on the entire event with excellent rides being posted in almost every heat. Former CT competitor Keely Andrew was the standout of the round with her two wave combination of 16.76. Keely was looking sharp on her forehand as she looks to regain her spot at the elite level on the Championship Tour.
"It's definitely good to win that heat and feel like I'm building some momentum," Keely Andrew said. "I want to get back on the CT and it's not going to happen without putting on performances like that. My surfing is feeling good and so is my equipment, so I'm excited to surf more heats tomorrow on Final's Day."
Northern Beaches native Jordan Lawler is a surfer whose talent hasn't translated into results in QS6,000 events with the exciting young goofy-footer struggling to progress through the early rounds. Today, in front of massive crowds and plenty of local support, Lawler put on an epic performance to book himself a spot in the Quarterfinals at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro.
"This is such an amazing feeling," Lawler said. "I've never made it through heats at a big QS event like this so I'm so over the moon. To do it so close to home and with so many friends and family cheering me on from the beach has been incredible. I want to try and stay relaxed and keep focused and see how far I can go on Final's Day, but I do want to soak it up as I've guaranteed my best ever result."
Japanese competitor Hiroto Ohara put on a polished performance for the huge weekend crowds, boosting and carving his way to a 17.27 heat total to dominate Ian Gouveia in their Round 5 match up. Ohara is sitting in a solid position on the QS having finished just before the Quarterfinals in Newcastle and Brazil, with Manly set to be the best result of his 2019 so far.
"I knew I could relax a little after that 8.77," Ohara said. "I backed it up with a good score and then worked on building towards another excellent wave. I'm stoked to be into the Quarterfinals and having a go at winning this event. I love the big crowd here and all of the fans -- I had people coming up and saying Hi to me on the beach which I didn't expect so that was pretty cool."
Former CT surfer Matt Banting continued his solid run in 2019, taking another heat win at Manly. Banting will join fellow Aussies Nicholas Squires and Stuart Kennedy in the Quarterfinals along with CT surfer Jesse Mendes, Alonso Correa and Jadson Andre.
Former World Junior Champion Mahina Maeda had 2018 CT Rookie of the Year Caroline Marks on the ropes from her first wave as she posted an 8.83 for a series of huge frontside gauges. Marks fought hard to get back, but the damage was done as Maeda looks to make 2019 her year to qualify.
"I was feeling really confident after I started my heat like that," Maeda said. "Caroline is one of the best in the world and I knew I was going to need to start big -- so it all went to plan I which is always good. I've struggled to string a few results together so I'm really excited with this position I've found myself in. I want to qualify this year and this result will go along way to helping me so I just want to keep this roll going."
Other winner's in Round 5 of the Sydney Women's Pro presented by Sisstrevolution included Sara Wakita, Malia Manuel, Tatitana Weston-Webb, Alessa Quizon and Isabella Nichols.
A Vissla Expression Session served as an interlude to round five action with 11-times WSL World Champion Kelly Slater, two-times World Champion Tom Carroll, NRL Immortal Andrew Johns, surfers Toby Mossop, Cam Richards, Koda Killorn and surfboard shaper Donny Brink. All competitors spent 30 minutes in a fun and lighthearted session in front of thousands of people.