The Mandurah Pro continued today in clean but tricky conditions at Pyramids Beach with Men's and Women's quarterfinalists decided in 1-2 feet swells. Surfers looked energised after a lay day yesterday and performed strongly under light and variable early morning winds. Making the most of limited opportunity and with hopes of a new swell arriving for finals day, competitors from across the globe battled hard to secure their spot in the final eight.
Thomas Cervi won the opening heat of the day with some high speed and smooth surfing. Setting the tone for a great day, Cervi opened with a 7.00 (from a possible 10) and backed it up with a 6.00 to finish on a combined total of 13.00 (from a possible 20).
"It was definitely tricky out there and the waves would come in flurries," said Cervi. "I never surfed at Avalon yet, but as a goofy-footer it looks really fun. Hopefully the winds stay like this and the swell fills in a bit, it should be a fun day."
As one of the bigger surfers in the field, Callum Robson milked everything from the small waves on offer, powering his way through to the quarterfinals thanks to a 12.90 combined total.
"The aim is always to make it to finals day, so I'm stoked," said Robson. "I started really bad and decided to just keep busy and managed to string together a few scores out there."
As the remaining international competitor in the Men's event, Japan's Kaiki Yamanaka put on one of the performances of the day, ripping on his backhand to post an impressive 13.95 combined heat total. Yamanaka has returned to the Mandurah Pro for the second year and he loves the area and Western Australia.
"I was lucky to get two good ones out there and I'm excited for tomorrow," said Yamanka. "I love that place and it would be great to finish the event there."
Zac McMahon found the waves at Pyramids to his liking, winning thanks to the highest individual scored of the day, an excellent 8.00 (from a possible 10). McMahon's backhand was razor sharp as he booked his spot into tomorrow's man-on-man quarters.
"WA is a beautiful place, everything is so raw and organic, I love it here," said McMahon. "I've got a couple of fresh boards which have felt good out there, but I can't wait to get them on some good waves."
Other Men to progress through to finals day included; Tully Wylie, Maddy Job, Lucas Wrice and long West Australian Cyrus Cox.
Women's quarterfinalists also shone at Pyramids and despite a change in conditions big scores still flowed easily. Alysse Cooper overcame former World Championship surfers Felicity Palmateer, and Claire Bevilacqua to win her round two heat. Cooper went from fourth to first thanks to consecutive waves which included a 7.50 and a 5.60, finishing on 13.10 (from a possible 20).
"I struggled out there for sure, I got one ok one before realising the sort of waves I should be on," said Cooper. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully a few more waves."
Mikaela Greene used past experience at Pyramids to help her claim victory.
"This is my first Qualifying Series (QS) in about 18 months since filming the TV show House Rules with my sister Eliza," said Greene. "Everyone is in the same boat and there and I'm just happy to be dusting off the cobwebs and making a few heats."
2019 Australian Pro Junior Champion Molly Picklum showed she's ready to attack the QS with lightning fast backhand surfing wowing the crowds. Picklum generated great speed and was happy to move onto finals day.
"I'm having a lot of fun here in Mandurah, I've had low expectations because the waves have been super grindy, but I'm just enjoying my first time here in Western Australia," said Picklum. "I've learned a lot about my surfing and myself this year and I'm just loving the journey."
Portugal's Yolanda Hopkins continued her impressive run of form in Mandurah taking out the final win of the day. Hopkins found the best waves and used her power turns to take a confidence boosting win.
"It was a long trip to get here, but I'm loving the waves and beach breaks are my favourite," said Hopkins. "I won a QS1000 earlier this year in England earlier this year and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Claire Bevilacqua, Saffi Vette, Sasha Baker and West Australian Mia McCarthy also qualified for quarterfinals.
Dylan Moffat and Molly Picklum took out the AiaAsia Airshow which saw close to twenty surfers flaring up in breezy afternoon winds.
Mandurah Pro champions will be crowned tomorrow with a strong groundswell and favourable winds forecast for tomorrow with a 7am call for a possible 7:30am start at Avalon.
The Mandurah Pro men's and women's QS1,000 events will run from October 19 - 22.