- WSL / Natalie Meredith

Lennox Head surfer Nyxie Ryan and North Shelly dynamo Joel Vaughan have been victorious and at the 2022 CARVE Great Lakes Pro Qualifying Series 1000 event in fun 2-4 foot surf at north Boomerang Beach. The peaky rip bowl conditions made for an outstanding end to the event as the top surfers in Australia and New Zealand gave it their all in testing conditions.

Nyxie Ryan Nyxie Ryan was unstopable on Finals Day. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

The Women's Final saw two early standouts work hard to secure their first Qualifying Series victory. Both Nyxie Ryan and Bodhi Leigh-Jones were standouts in the earlier round causing upsets amongst the top seeds. It was an electric final between two up-and-coming stars of the sport with Ryan throwing the first dagger, dropping a 7.75 inside the first 10 minutes putting Leigh-Jones behind the eight ball and in need of a solid score. From there, Ryan was able to control the remainder of the heat posting an excellent 8.75 point ride out of a possible 10 points for a huge backhand snap under the lip to smash the heat out of the park. The major score was the biggest in the whole women's field for the duration of the event.

Ryan takes home her first Qualifying Series title giving her a huge confidence boost for the rest of the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series. She now sits on top of the Australia / Oceania rankings heading into the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro starting on Sunday 27 February.

"I'm so honoured to take out the victory here in the Carve Great Lakes Pro at Boomerang Beach," Ryan said. "It's certainly going to take a bit of time for it to sink in but I'm just elated that I was able to get my first Qualifying Series win. To be leading the APAC rankings going into the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro is amazing. I'm looking forward to the event down at Birubi Beach and to make some heats down there would be great."

Nyxie Ryan Nyxie Ryan claiming the biggest win of her career. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

Bodhi Leigh-Jones was gallant in defeat and will bank another strong result here at Boomerang Beach, as she looks toward continuing her strong run of form at the next event of the series.

"This is my first event of the year, so to start off with my best ever result is awesome," Leigh-Jones said. "Nyxie was absolutely ripping all events so no hard feelings there - she's a deserved winner. My aim is to stay within the top six and make it to the Challenger Series so this is a great start for me. I'm really stoked."

Bodhi Leigh-Jones Bodhi Leigh-Jones claiming the biggest result in her young career. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

On the Men's side of the draw, proud North Shelly surfer Joel Vaughan was pitted against powerful Noosa natural-footer Cooper Davies. The Australian duo were two of the most consistent surfers across the event period and showed off their credentials as serious threats to qualify for the Challenger Series which is set to begin in May. In a back and forth heat, the two in-form surfers were able to go blow-for-blow both posting an array of scores in the bowly afternoon conditions.

Vaughan started the final with a bang, dropping a 6.75 after being rewarded for attacking big sections on a set wave. Davies was then able to score two mid-range scores to get his finals campaign underway keeping him right on Vaughan's tail, however the Central Coast surfer continued to show off his elite rail game and score an 8.00 in the dying stages to put the requirement out of reach for the Sunshine Coast surfer couldn't catch. It means that after a second-place finish at Phillip Island in the first Qualifying Series event of the year, Vaughan goes to the top of the regional QS rankings and has a solid buffer heading into the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro.

"I'm stoked to have taken out my first Qualifying Series event here at Boomerang," Vaughan said. "The waves have been great all week and have presented such a fun event for all of the field. All the guys in the draw were top-notch all week and to get a win against them is a great achievement that I'm immensely proud of. I'm really looking forward to the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro and hopefully, I can continue this run of form."

Joel Vaughan Joel Vaughan has been on fire in 2022. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

Finishing in second place with incredible performances all week, Cooper Davies will walk away from the first stop of the series with a great foundation for the rest of his year as he strives for a spot on the Challenger Series.

"Making the final against Joel is something that I'm stoked with and to get such fun waves throughout the week in such an amazing place like Boomerang Beach was an absolute bonus," Davies said. "It's been a goal of mine to get back up towards the top end of the rankings and give myself the best chance at making the Challenger Series events to start in May. This is a great start and I can't wait to give it another crack in the next event of the Vissla Pro Surf Series."

Cooper Davies Cooper Davies with the best result of his QS career. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

Competitors will now set their sights on the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro which begins on Sunday 27 February 2022.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.