Day one of the 2019 Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre has wrapped up after a big day of competition. Top seeds have dominated the Pro Junior field in clean 2-3ft waves at Burleigh Point, as the sun shone on a picture-perfect Gold Coast day. High scores and close-calls were apparent throughout the day, as surfers kept their wits about them in the tricky conditions.
Young hopeful Dakoda Walters has made the trip north for the event and was stoked to take first place in his round one heat defeating Blake Neka, Micah Margieson and Jackson Graham respectively.
"I'm happy to get the heat win," said Walters. "It felt great surfing some good waves with my friends. I'm good mates with all the boys in that heat so it was a lot of fun. I've been looking forward to this event for a while, Angourie is a similar right-hand point break so I definitely feel at home here."
Victorian and current WSL Men's Australasian Junior Tour leader Xavier Huxtable, eased through his round one heat win - nailing a heat total score of 10.65 (out of a possible 20.00). Huxtable defeated fellow Victorian Codie Jeffery, Kobi Clements and Will Carter respectively.
"It's always good to get a round one heat win, there were a lot of fun little rights breaking on the point today," said Huxtable. "I've had some great results this year so far, so hopefully at this event, I can make the final - or even better, take the win."
Gold Coast local Jaggar Bartholomew wasted no time taking out his round one heat, defeating Zane Assink, Ty Richardson and Archer Curtis respectively. Bartholomew managed to put together a 5.5 (out of a possible 10), combined with a 6.1 - for a combined heat total of 11.6.
Young gun and current WSL women's Australasian Junior Tour leader Molly Picklum wasted no time easing through her round one heat in the women's Pro Junior division. Picklum defeated Coco Cairns, Amelia Bourke and Summer Simon (Port Kembla, NSW) respectively.
"I'm stoked to get the ball rolling in this event," said Picklum. It's the first time I've surfed it. It's a really cool setup on the hill; we don't normally get that at a Pro Junior so it's awesome. This year I'm going to be learning and working on heat strategies and stuff. I'm hoping to make world juniors for sure."
Tomorrow could potentially see the WQS event get underway, with the event window being from the 8-12 May. The Pro Junior event will wrap up tomorrow.
Previous winners of the Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre (formerly Burleigh Pro) include names like Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Dimity Stoyle, Owen Wright, Kobie Enright, Mitch Crews and Isabella Nichols. The event is known for attracting surfers from all corners of the globe including Indonesia, North America, France, Brazil and Japan.
This year will again host an open Men's and Women's division, as well as the introduction of the Pro Junior Men's and Women's event. As an added value, attendees can look forward to other attractions including live bands, skateboarding event and Mother's Day sunrise yoga sessions.