The opening day of the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 rated competition got underway today in difficult two-foot conditions.
Local surfer Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW) got his support crew on the beach cheering as he moved through his opening exchange on his home turf. The recent Carve Pro runner-up made light work of the tiny conditions on offer as he blasted out a variety of impressive backside snaps and carves to finish the heat with a decent 10.97 two-wave heat total. Chell will meet up with Sasuke Kawatani (JPN), Lenni Jensen (Germany) and Jaymes Triglone (AUS) in the third round of the competition.
"I try to take the pressure off myself at home events and treat it like I'm just having a free surf on my local beach," said Chell. "A lot of my mates came down and supported me in my heat which is awesome as well and it definitely helps your confidence. I didn't really set myself any goals coming into this event, I just wanted to take it heat-by-heat, make a couple of heats and go from there."
Brazilian-cum-Gold Coast surfer Thomas Carvalho (Gold Coast, Qld) put his fellow competitors on notice in his round two heat as he executed a barrage of giant forehand carves and snaps. The powerful natural-footer posted two scores in the excellent range, an 8.50 and an 8.93 to notch up a 17.43 two-wave heat total.
"I'm pretty happy after that. There are a few good little waves when they come through," said Carvalho. "It actually reminds me a little bit of Duranbah out there, so it wasn't too difficult to adapt. I just want to keep the rhythm going now into the next few rounds."
2019 Australian Junior Qualifying Series Champion and 2020 Carve Pro Champion Dakoda Walters (Angourie, NSW) used his light frame to his advantage in his opening heat, performing an array of powerful carves, snaps and aerials. The north coast natural-footer finished the heat with a respectable 13.30 two-wave heat total to move through the heat ahead of Jay Brown (Cronulla, NSW), recent Mothernest Great Lakes Pro Champion Kai Warner (Narrabeen, NSW) and Ryan Kainalo (Brazil) who claimed second, third and fourth respectively.
"I found the surf to be a little tricky, but there was the rare gem out there if you could find it," said Walters. "I wanted to mix up my surfing as much as I could as I knew that's what would get scores and thankfully the judges seemed to like it. It would be nice to see a bit of an increase in swell over the next few days as we get deeper into the contest."
The 2020 Vissla and Sisstrevolution Pro will run from February 25 - March 1.