- WSL / Natalie Meredith

It was a spectacular day of sunshine and small waves in Sydney today for the 2022 Mad Mex Maroubra Pro presented by N G Farah World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS)1000 event. The event signals the first QS point score event of the 2023 season.

Dakoda Walters Dakoda Walters posted the highest two wave total on Day 1 of Competition at Maroubra. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

Conditions were small but contestable at Maroubra beach but perfect for the professional surfers and future stars to pull out their best small-wave heat strategy after a weekend of maxing waves. It was the surfers from the north side of the Harbour Bridge who dominated the morning. Avalon athlete Darcy Crump and Anne Dos Santos (Long Reef) are well versed in all conditions.

Dos Santos spent Saturday charging the huge waves of Manly's 'Deadmans' slab break showing her elite surfing depth, moving from big wave surfing to grovelling waves. Her dynamic surfing skill shone through in the first round where she scored one of the highest heat totals (14.83) of the day across the draw and with good scores in the second round she secured her place in the Quarterfinals.

"Every event dishes up different conditions so you have to be ready to surf anything and just go for it. Heat strategy definitely comes into it a lot more on days like these," Dos Santos said. "You can win or lose based on heat momentum, critical wave selection and priority. Then you make the most of the waves you pick."

Kyla Whitfield Kyla Whitfield on Day 1 of Competition. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

Tweed Coast Pro Junior winner Sierra Kerr was stoked with her first heat in Sydney. With just two waves the young prodigy claimed her place to progress through to the next round.

"It's so nice to be here and have the sun shining," said Kerr. "Every QS event is an opportunity to learn something new and try different things so I'm really happy to be here competing against this field of talented women."

The Men surfed three heats today and Darcy Crump held his momentum right across the day and through the changing tides. The Northern Beaches athlete understands the importance of strategy in the most testing conditions.

"It's super important to be able to perform in all conditions," said Crump. "Each day is different and you never really know what you are going to get. You almost need to be able to surf one-foot to 10 foot with no worries," he said after surfing the big swells over the weekend yet having success today. "Heat strategy plays a big part in small waves. It can be difficult to choose a strategy for a heat when it's small because you just don't know how many sets or waves will come through in your heat. On top of that you always want to have an open mind and go with the flow of everything that is happening around you."

Darcy Crump Darcy Crump punting into the Quarterfinals. - WSL / Natalie Meredith

NSW surfer Dakoda Walters (Angourie) finished off the day with two huge eight-point rides to take the highest heat total of the day (16.77) in the final heat of the day.

Both the Men and Women will head into Quarterfinals action tomorrow ahead of finishing the event at Maroubra.

The 2022 Mad Mex Maroubra Pro presented by N G Farah will run from April 5 - 6.

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