The 2020 Carve Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event continued today with the Men's top seeds hitting the punchy one-to-two foot waves, as they endeavoured to make it into the third round of the competition.
Stu Kennedy showed why he was on the cusp of WSL Championship Tour Qualification in 2019, flying through the tiny conditions with a combination of flair and power. The former world number 19 and natural-footer found multiple fast right-handers to link together a chain of snaps and floats and finish the heat with a respectable 10.10 two-wave heat total and end up in the runner-up position and progress through the heat alongside heat victor Oney Anwar.
"This event is always a good way to kickstart your year," said Kennedy. "I've always loved coming down to Maroubra for this comp and have a lot of good family and friends who live nearby so I'd definitely say I feel comfortable here and if I can keep progressing through heats in this event then I'd be stoked."
Former Australian Junior Champion Micah Margieson performed one of the early upsets of the event so far, eliminating local and wildcard Tye Koolis from the event. Margieson lucked into a handful of punchy walls over the course of his heat in which he was able to use to notch up a decent 11.55 two-wave heat total. Margieson will face Dextar Muskens, Lennox Chell and Xavier Huxtable in the third round.
"I know a lot of people say it, but it's such a nice feeling to get the first heat out of the way," said Margieson. "Thankfully the waves seemed to cooperate and I was able to find a bunch of fun waves on the lower tide. I was a bit worried about having Tye in my heat as he is the local and knows this beach better than anyone, so to take the heat out definitely boosts my confidence."
Having had a stellar 2019 Pro Junior campaign, Xavier Huxtable kicked off 2020 with an inspiring performance in his round two heat at Maroubra today. Huxtable perfectly synced his heat strategy with the conditions as he continued to find wave-after-wave in the generally wave-starved lineup. Huxtable finished the heat with a solid 13.10 two-wave heat total thanks to a combination of powerful snaps and exciting aerial maneuvers.
"The last two years I've been knocked in the second round in this event, so to get through this heat feels great and is a massive relief," said Huxtable. "Every time we paddled back out there was a set that popped up for us, so I think we had one of those lucky heats that just pulsed the entire time. I'm doing year 12 this year, so I'm only doing certain events but hopefully, I can get some decent points to help my seed for later in the year."