- WSL / Luke Dubrovskiy

It was a spectacular opening day for the 2022 Gold Coast Open with a fresh building swell hitting the iconic Burleigh Point. Crowds descended on Burleigh Heads to celebrate the return of professional surfing to Queensland with the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS)1000 rated event providing athletes the opportunity to claim points for their 2022/23 QS campaign.

Round one and two of the men took to the water in clean and punchy 3ft conditions which saw a mixture of international, national and local talent. One of the standouts of the day was WSL Asian regional rankings leader Rio Waida (IDN) who had the highest heat total (15.65) of the day, dominating in the round of 96 and 64.

"It's nice to be back on the Gold Coast after two years of being unable to get over here," said Waida. "The waves are fun, the weather is beautiful and I'm really excited to be competing and surfing at Burleigh Heads for the first time."

Rio Waida Rio Waida - WSL / Luke Dubrovskiy

Local surfer Quinn Bruce was another solid performer, using his local knowledge to his advantage and progress through his opening round.

"I saw the swell is meant to pick up tomorrow so I'm stoked to make my heat today and hopefully score some pumping Burleigh barrels in the coming days," said Bruce. "I love Burleigh, it's one of my favourite waves. I've probably surfed more heats here than anywhere else the past few years."

Quinn Bruce Quinn Bruce. - WSL / Luke Dubrovskiy

Local Burleigh Heads surfer and WSL Championship Tour Surfer Liam O'Brien made his 2022 competition debut after a major injury, however didn't progress through his heat.

The afternoon will see Burleigh Hill come alive with the Flotsam Festival x Gold Coast Open inclusion of live music and cinema screening.

The 2022 Gold Coast Open is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, Major Events Gold Coast, Hit 90.9, Level Up Skatepark and QMS Media.

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