Dakoda Walters and Sarah Baum have won the 2020 Carve Pro WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 rated event in front of thousands of spectators at Maroubra Beach. Both Walters and Baum shone in the punchy three-foot north swell, performing an array of exciting maneuvers to claim victories in their respective divisions.
After taking out the Red Bull Airborne Qualifier earlier this week, Dakoda Walters backed up his performance with a giant win at the Carve Pro. Walters was the man to beat all day, consistently blowing minds with a variety of aerial antics and powerful rail turns. In the final, Walters was able to gain the upper hand against fellow youngster Lennox Chell thanks to two scores in the mid-to-high six-point range.
"This has been a bit of a fairy-tale week," said Walters. "It was a dream to take out the Airborne Qualifier on Tuesday, but to back it up here feels incredible. It's always been a dream to be able to win a QS so to take this out is a dream-come-true. Hopefully, I can back it up when the next event in Great Lakes in a few week's time."
Sarah Baum put on the same display of surfing that has seen her win two previous QS events, nailing a handful of traditional snaps and carves to finish the heat with a respectable 12.75 two-wave heat total. Baum struck early in the heat, posting a decent 6.00 wave score, but was unable to find a solid backup score until the latter moments of the heat where she was able to nab a 6.75 to gain the upper hand against runner-up Carly Shanahan.
"This is my third victory on the QS and each one feels better and better. Hopefully, this will give me the momentum to build towards some decent results into the bigger rated events," said Baum. "My whole tactic out there was to stay busy in the lineup as there were quite a lot of waves that you couldn't tell if they were going to run or not. The conditions definitely slowed down in the final, but I was lucky to get those two six-point rides that gave me the edge."
Central Coast goofy-foot Lennox Chell capped off his incredible event performance at the Carve Pro, taking out the runner up spot. Although Chell fell just short of the win, the Avoca local was ecstatic to post his best QS result to date.
"I've only ever made it through two heats in a QS event before this, so to get this far feels awesome," said Chell. "I love that this event had a lot of younger surfers in the finals and we got the chance to surf against some seasoned QS surfers. You gain a lot of experience off surfing with guys like that and you learn a lot and I think both Dakoda and I did that here."
Women's runner-up Carly Shanahan posted her best WSL result to date, coming second to Baum. Shanahan showed moments of brilliance in her heat but was unable to find the required excellent 8.85 wave score needed to steal Baum's lead.
"I'm so wrapped on this result," said Shanahan. "I was stoked to just make the quarterfinals, so to get through to the final feels amazing. It was epic to share a heat with Sarah, she's such a good surfer and has won a handful of QS events in the past, so to share a final with her was awesome."