The 2020 Carve Pro WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event heated up today with a range of up-and-coming QS surfers going toe-to-toe with seasoned competitors.
Fresh off a victory at the recent Red Bull Airborne Qualifier on Tuesday, 2019 Australian Junior QS Champion Dakoda Walters continued to build on his upward momentum smashing his third and fourth-round heats today. The north coast natural footer remained light on his feet over the duration of his heats, performing a mix of exciting aerials and bread-and-butter power turns. As a result, Walters posted one of the highest two-wave heat totals of the event so far, 15.75 in the third round. Walters then backed up his performance with another win in the fourth round, finishing the heat with 12.45.
"Winning the Airborne on Tuesday was a bit of a dream and I was hoping I could carry that momentum through this event," said Walters. "Even though the waves are quite small today, there were still longer walls and steeper sections if you could find them. One of my main goals was to make it to finals day, so to get there is a huge relief and hopefully, there'll be a bit of an increase in swell for the quarterfinals."
Darcy Crump and Lennox Chell both executed one of the biggest upsets of the event so far, eliminating event favourites Oney Anwar and Stu Kennedy from the event in round four. The goofy-foot duo of Crump and Chell found a handful of tight backhand pockets over the course of the heat to gain the edge over the two seasoned competitors and claim first and second respectively. Both surfers will make their next appearance in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
"That felt good to get a win over two of the higher seeds of the event," said Crump. "This definitely helps my confidence coming into finals day, especially with those two guys being veterans on the QS and having made finals previously. To progress through the heat alongside Lennox who is a fellow goofy-footer is a massive bonus."
"I can't wait to surf tomorrow in the man-on-man quarterfinals," added Chell. "I knew that heat was going to be difficult, but I didn't put any expectations on it and just tried my best. Both Oney and Stu are amazing surfers and they have achieved so much, so to get through a heat against them definitely feels great."
Avalon sisters Bodhi and Cedar Leigh-Jones made their mark on the third round of competition with both sisters cementing their position into the Quarterfinals. Both sisters put on a clinic in their respective heats to lock in decent heat totals and set themselves up for a potential semi-final battle together if both manage to progress through their quarterfinals.
"I was out there with 30 seconds to go and the girl in second [Sarah Baum] only needed a four-point ride to win, so I just wanted to sit on her to make sure I still won and didn't end up against Cedar in the quarterfinals," said Bodhi. "I hate surfing heats against my sister as neither of us wants to upset the other one so we'd rather be in opposing heats."