Kai Warner's return from injury seemed to be complete as he took out the Men's division. Warner remained on point over the duration of the final, nailing a flutter of backside hits to gain the upper hand against Kiwi surfer Elliot Paerata-Reid. Flanked by a dozen friends and family from North Narrabeen, Warner posted a massive 17.00 two-wave heat total which consisted of two-scores in excess of eight-points and ultimately gave him the edge over his fellow finalist. The win is a change of form for Warner who was eliminated in the first round of the recent 2020 Carve Pro at Maroubra.
"If you asked me if I was going to be here early this week, then I wouldn't have thought it would happen," said Warner. "It feels good to bounce back from a dead-last finish in Maroubra. I just wanted to not put too much pressure on myself and try and have as much fun as I could. This has been the funnest week, having a bunch of friends here and cheering us all on, so it makes the win so much sweeter."
Luana Silva capped off five days of impeccable heat surfing, taking out the Women's division. The 15-year-old Hawaiian native employed a mature heat strategy in the final, remaining patient in the heat and waiting for the rare, clean faces on offer. Silva surfed beyond her years in the final performing a barrage of giant snaps that allowed her to gain the edge over the mature approach of fellow finalist and recent Carve Pro champion Sarah Baum. The victory is Silva's second win from as many trips to Australia as she claimed the 2019 Phillip Island Pro back in November last year.
"I feel so good right now. I almost have no words. I just love Australia," said Silva. "I feel so blessed to have won two titles here and have had such great conditions while I've been here. This win is pretty special as my Mum and a few friends were here to watch it in person. I knew Sarah was going to be tough to beat with her winning the last QS event and she posted high scores all event, so I knew I'd have to be on my game to beat her."
Elliot Paerata-Reid put up a valiant fight in the Anzac final against Warner, posting one score in the excellent range, an 8.25, but was unable to find the necessary 8.76 to usurp Warner's lead. The runner-up finish is Paerata-Reid's second runner-up finish on the QS with the natural footer finishing runner-up to Liam O'Brien at the Simeulue Pro back in 2018.
"I don't usually do too well in the Australian comps, so it feels awesome to break the spell here," said Paerata-Reid. "I would have loved to share a final with Billy [Stairmand] instead of the semis because I look up to him so much but to get a win against him also felt pretty good."
Sarah Baum's attempt to claim her second win from as many events fell one spot short as she came runner-up to Silva. The 2020 Carve Pro QS champion remained busy at the beginning of the final at Boomerang and looked almost destined to take her second win on the trot until Silva posted the scores to push her ahead.
"I'm stoked with my start to this year," said Baum. "I would have loved to go one spot better at this event, but I have no complaints really. I wanted to get busy at the beginning at the heat and see what happened, especially with the higher tide coming through in the final. With Luana being one of the younger girls I wanted to put a bit of pressure on her, but she managed to get a few scores underneath me which allowed her to get the win."