Round one of the 2019 Gold Coast Open presented By Flight Centre has run today at Burleigh Point, with 16 heats of men's and 12 heats of women's. Clean 2-3ft (1.5m) waves greeted competitors all day on a picture perfect Gold Coast day, along with light southwesterly winds - which are prime for the southern point breaks on the Gold Coast.
New Zealander and current Gold Coast resident Tane Bowden wasted no time blazing through his round one heat in the playful conditions at Burleigh. Bowden scored a 6.5 (out of a possible 10.00), followed by a 7.5 - throwing a huge aerial manoeuvre, which landed him dangerously close to the nearby rocks to bring his total heat score to 14.00 (out of a possible 20.00). Bowden defeated Billy Stairmand, Mike Clayton-Brown and Lennox Chell respectively in the exciting heat.
"It feels good to get the feet in the wax today," said Bowden. "The waves are a little slow which always makes it harder. Hopefully, we get some good waves. It would be great to take the event out for sure, but at this stage, I'm just having fun with it."
Caleb Tancred tore through his round one heat with a heat total of 12.00, defeating Noah Munro, Zane Assink and Nelson Corner respectively in an exciting heat. Tancred waited patiently for a final wave, as the ocean delivered and he performed a huge air-reverse.
"The waves have definitely picked up from yesterday," said Tancred. "I was waiting with priority for a while before I got that air, I'm glad that wave came through. I'm looking forward to surfing some long rights along the point, you definitely get a lot more opportunity than a beach break."
Other names moving forward in the men's division include Thomas Carvalho, Dexter Muskens, Finn Hill, Kai Tandler, Alister Reginato and Dylan Moffatt.
Open Women's competitor and current Women's QS leaderIsabella Nichols dominated the field in her round one heat, combining a 6.5 and a 6.05 for a heat total of 12.55. Nichols took advantage of the right-handers on offer at Burleigh Point, utilising her stylish forehand turns to defeat Carly Shanahan, Elle Clayton Brown and Kelly O'Callaghan respectively.
"It feels great to be in a rash-shirt again," said Nichols. "The waves may be small but there's still a couple of fun ones out there. Apparently, there's a swell coming for the weekend, it would be so much fun to surf pumping Burleigh with only a couple of other people. That's what I'm looking forward to the most."
Gold Coaster and fellow QS competitor Ellie Brooks wasted no time carving through her round one heat in style, as well as last year's event winner Kobie Enright - they will both move forward to round 2.
Surfing action will continue tomorrow most likely at the primary location of Burleigh Heads.