The Phillip Island Pro event has kicked off on the Bass Coast with wild weather hitting the region forcing a move to the nearby protected location of the Penguin Parade. Strong westerly winds and an increasing large groundswell forced event organisers to make the move to the popular tourist attraction that is tucked away at the western end of the Island.
Featuring a raft of international surfing stars, the event is a World Surf League Qualifying Series (QS) 1500 rated Women's event and QS1,000 rated Men's event.
Surfing for the first time in Australia, Luana Silva progressed through the opening round of the Women's division.
"I have only been in Australia for 2 days but so far it has been amazing," Silver said. "The waves have been super fun but so cold! It's a lot different to where I am from in Hawaii. It's good to get the nerves out of the way in the first heat. I am feeling really confident for the rest of the event and hopefully, the waves continue to be fun."
World Championship Tour surfer Keely Andrew showed why she has spent the last two years on the CT by dominating her opening heat. Andrew scored a 7.50 and a 5.65 in the windy conditions to progress over Nicole Fulford and Leonor Fragoso.
"The conditions were definitely challenging today but it's great to be down at Phillip Island, there are so many options to surf around here," Andrew said. "The variety of waves down here is amazing. This is one of the events that I highlighted at the start of the year to come to because of the quality of waves and options to go surfing. It's good to be back down here"
Other female surfers progressing to Round Two include Sage Erickson, Kobie Enright, Brianna Cope and Teresa Bonvalot.
The opening round of the Men's was also completed with Aiden Lewand-Parsons impressing along with Ethan Stocks, Monty Tait and Noah Stocca .
The event will continue tomorrow with a call to be made at 7 am at Penguin Parade for a possible 7:30 am start with Women's Round 2.
The 2019 Phillip Island Pro men's and women's events will run from November 7 - 10.