Competitors have battled small weak waves on Day 4 of the 2020 Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series event with competitors in Men's and Women's Round 3 putting on a show in two-foot surf. The conditions didn't detract from the action with some of the world's best surfers posting solid scores in front of the solid Wednesday crowds.
Reigning World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) fired a warning shot across the bow of her opponents, posting the highest heat total of the event so far. Moore's 17.40 two-wave combination came from a series of critical backhand snaps in the small but clean morning high tide conditions. Moore will now have the rest of her day to enjoy the beauty of Sydney with her friends and family.
"I'm really happy we got the morning conditions today," Moore said "With the light offshore and the higher tide it seems to be hitting the bank a lot better so we had plenty of opportunity which is great. It's definitely nice to start the day with a solid performance like that and now I will have the rest of the day to relax with my family. I'm thinking of getting a ferry across Sydney Harbour and enjoying a bit of tourist time for the rest of the day which will be nice."
Bronte Macaulay (AUS) carried her epic form from a recent win at the Doyle Partners Women's Pro on Newcastle, claiming victory in the last heat of Women's Round 3. Macaulay once again drew on her strong backside turns to post a near excellent heat total of 15.77 to progress closer to Finals Day at Manly. Bronte showed her ability to adapt to conditions, shifting to a different peak at the last minute as the tide began to swallow the waves at her original option.
"I was watching a certain peak for a while and then saw that it slowed down quite a bit so at the last minute I decided to move to a different peak," Macaulay said. "These Challenger Series events are great. You really get a chance to compare the young crop of girls against the CT surfers. There are some younger girls that are really ripping this week which is good to see. I don't really look at this event as a chance to be safe on the CT I look at it as an event that I want to win. That's how I look at every event I surf in."
Other West Australian competitors who found success at Manly on Day 2 were Jacob Willcox (AUS) and 2020 WSL Championship Tour rookie Jack Robinson (AUS). The Margaret River duo who are best known for their antics in waves of consequence showed they have what it takes in the small stuff, each posting solid heat totals to progress over event standout Mateus Herdy (BRA) and QS veteran Nicholas Squiers (AUS). Willcox clinched the top spot, continuing his strong relationship with the shifting peaks of Manly Beach.
"It was great to have a heat with Jack (Robinson) and both progress," Wilcox said. "We grew up surfing together and competing with one and other over our junior careers and are good friends so it was cool to both make it. I'm so stoked to see him on tour this year and it's really good motivation for me to get there -- plus we have another Aussie to go for when watching the CT events. I'm feeling good here this week -- I've had some good results in Manly and won an event here as a junior so I feel comfortable here and have a good board so I'm keen to kee my momentum going."
Adriano de Souza's (BRA) Sydney Surf Pro campaign came to an abrupt end in round three today at the hands of Uruguay's Marco Giorgi who went berserk in his Round 3 heat. Giorgi linked together with a chain of powerful forehand snaps and carves to post a 15.17 two-wave total and eliminate the 2015 World Champion from the event.
"I had no gameplan in that heat at all, as there wasn't really a definite peak to surf and it was changing so much with the changing tides," said Giorgi. "I'm so super happy to get through that heat ahead of Adriano especially in waves like this. It's not easy to surf waves like this and all the guys in the heat can surf so well, so to get them feels awesome."
Also posting a near excellent heat total on Day 4 was Californian Nat Young who continues to build momentum in 2020. Having already taken out the Pro Taghazout Bay QS5,000 and banked a solid result recently in Newcastle, Young is well on his way to re-qualifying for the CT and today continued his strong campaign, posting a 15.56 heat total to progress into Round 4.
A last-ditch effort from Thiago Camarao (BRA) gave him the edge in his Round 3 heat this afternoon and allowed him to take a victory ahead of 2019 event winner Jordy Lawler (AUS) who was eliminated from competition. Camarao blasted apart a small right-hander to get the necessary 5.00 wave score and get them ahead of Lawler and Jake Marshall (USA). Camarao progressed in the runner position behind perennial standout Matt Banting (AUS).
"I knew I was capable of getting the score, but I just kept telling myself to never give up and just focus on the wave, not the score," said Camarao. "Jordy and I are close friends and had dinner together the other night, but I just needed to focus on myself and not the other guys in the heat. In Round 4, I definitely will be focusing more on wave selection. I chose some super bad waves and I had to keep resetting, so I'll be looking to change that in the next round."