TheCape Naturaliste Pro kicked off in sensational conditions close to Yallingup today, with powerful 4-6 feet waves providing the perfect setting for this WSL QS1000 event. After the successful completion of the Mandurah Pro on Tuesday, the Western Australian Pro Surf Series continued in one of WA's most iconic surfing locations, with competitors from close to a dozen different nations relishing the chance to perform in quality waves.
As a large groundswell battered the South West coastline, Injidup's sheltered reef best handled the big swells and unruly winds on offer. As whales and dolphins frolicked in the line-up, men's Round 1 men's Round 2 heats highlighted an amazing opening day of surfing. In what was a thrilling mix of hot local talent taking on international and east coast competitors, it was WA surfers made the most of the home ground advantage, dropping big scores and moving through to Round 3 with ease.
Ben Spence used his smooth and radical style to win both of his heats, moving through with impressive heat score totals. Spence lead the charge for West Australian's who progressed including Yallingup local Duke Nagtzaam, Finn Cox and Luke Campbell. Spence extracted very good and excellent scores and was in tune with who the power of the waves on offer.
"I'm stoked to be back surfing some proper waves that I feel so much more comfortable in, I like the power here so it's good," said Spence. "The forecast looks great and it's always nice to get good waves for a comp."
Hot off a second-place finish in Mandurah, Callum Robson was pumped to be in Yallingup and was amongst a host of young Australian's who excelled in the surf today. Robson scored an 8.25 (from a possible 10) and back it up with a 6.90 to post a combined total of 15.15 (from a possible 20).
"It was good to get some waves out there and have some fun," said Robson. "I just tried to pick my waves and get the ones that stood up and offered multiple turns. The forecast looks amazing and I hope I can go one better in Yallingup this weekend."
International surfers also shone, with great performances from and a diverse range of nationalities.
Japan's Daiki Tanaka posted the highest individual score of the day with a near-perfect 9.00 (from a possible 10). In Tanka's first time to WA he looked in great form, throwing big snaps and powerful turns with ease. Germany's Dylan Groen was another international winner, moving through to round 3 thanks to a great forehand arsenal for turns.
"The waves are firing and I'm so happy to be here," said Groen. "Competitions are just like the waves, up and down, but to get to surf waves likes is why we travel and compete."
The Cape Naturaliste Pro is set to continue tomorrow with an easing swell forecast, but great waves still expected. It looks like a great day for the women's heats to begin. Event officials will make the call tomorrow at 7 am for a possible 8 am start.
The Cape Naturaliste Pro men's and women's QS1,000 events ran from October 24 - 27.