The second day of competition at the Gold Coast Open saw 20 World Titles represented with 11 from Kelly Slater, 7 from local legend Stephanie Gilmore and two from 2022 from surfer Tyler Wright. All three multiple title holders performed as you'd expect with impressive displays. Wright continued her ominous form with a 16.27 two wave total, but it was the ‘Queen of Coolangatta', Gilmore who stole the show, posting the highest two-wave combination of the event so far with an 18.77 two wave total.

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Day 2 Post Show: The Queen's Royal Return, Challenger Contenders Emerge
6x Gold Coast victor Stephanie Gilmore reigned supreme with a near-perfect 18.77 heat total alongside former Gold Coast victors Wilson and Slater, plus Challenger Series elite excel.

For Gilmore, it's been a slow start to the year by her lofty standards, only just making the Mid-season Cut after Margaret River. Today, with her home break to herself and incredible waves on offer, Gilmore displayed why she is one of the greatest of all time, finding tubes, long carves and freeing the fins on her way to a dominating win. This performance could be just what Gilmore is in need of to launch an assault on a record breaking eight World Title.

"I haven't surfed Snapper with no one out for a long time so that was a real treat," Gilmore said. "I was in the last heat of the day and I just wanted it to hurry up because the waves looked so good all day. I got a bit of a barrel but I think tomorrow could be even better. It's nice that I've made the cut so I can come here and relax and enjoy the ride but at the end of the day it's all about confidence and that's what I need after just making the cut by the skin of my teeth. Every good heat and every win will go a long way for me so this was a good one."

11-Time World Champion Kelly Slater Returns to Snapper Rocks
kelly The six-time Gold Coast victor making it look all too easy behind the curtain. - WSL / Matt Dunbar

For the first time since 2018, Slater paddled out to surf a heat at Snapper Rocks, much to the delight of the thousands of devoted Gold Coast surf fans who lined the shore to watch what could be the man known as surfing's G.O.A.T's last competitive appearance at the famous point. Although the heat was slow for waves, Slater didn't disappoint, pulling into a thick barrel at the top of the point, before coming out and laying into a series of turns for over 150 meters down the length of the sand bank. Slater backed it up late in the heat to sneak through in second place behind Frenchman Jorgan Couzinet who won his first ever matchup with the 11-time World Champion.

"These are spectacular waves and I love surfing the Gold Coast in heats like this with just 3 others in the line-up" said Slater. "I'm excited about the coming days as well with such a great forecast for swell and I really want to keep making heats and surfing these perfect uncrowded waves."

"It's been a dream of mine to actually just surf against Kelly Slater and then to beat him in the heat is incredible" said Couzinet. "Just the best day of competition with fantastic waves here and it really is an important event for me and I have the confidence, especially now, to push hard into this event."

Former CT competitors Get Requalification Campaigns off to Perfect Start
Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Day 2 Highlights: Heavy Eliminations Continue, World-Class Women Dominate
More notable eliminations unfold with the men down to 48, Malia Manuel comes out cooking with an 18.60 total among some of the world's best women, veterans and newcomers, making their mark.

A number of surfing's biggest names that have recently fallen foul to the Mid-season Cut have come to the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Challenger Series event looking to wash off the disappointment of missing the cut, and re-build their confidence ahead of their 2022 requalification campaigns. None quite got the confidence boost of Malia Manuel who looked untouchable in her opening round heat at Snapper. Manuel's style and timing was unparalleled in the Round of 64 as she posted an 18.60 two wave total, the second highest of the event so far, to progress into the Round of 32.

"The last week has been really tough and emotional for me," said Manuel. "I told myself to try and stay positive and be happy and nothing makes me happier than Snapper so here I am. I really love it here on the Gold Coast, the waves are amazing and I have some really good friends here so it's definitely a happy place for me. It definitely felt good to hear some big scores and get some waves in that heat, my equipment is feeling great so I'm feeling like I'm in a good place."

Another name no one expected to see competing on the Challenger Series in 2022 was Sally Fitzgibbons, a former World No. 2 and perennial title threat who has been a veteran of the Championship Tour for over a decade. Fitzgibbons has come to Snapper Rocks with a can-do attitude and it showed as she progressed through her opening heat and continued to hunt for her maiden win at Snapper Rocks.

Julian Wilson Julian Wilson made his highly-anticipated return to Snapper Rocks one to remember. - WSL / Matt Dunbar

A former winner here at Snapper Rocks as well as a runner-up, Julian Wilsonhas returned to high level competition today after taking time away from the tour to spend more time at home with his family. One of Australia's biggest hopes for a title for the best part of a decade, Wilson hasn't ruled out returning to the elite level and with performances like his today at Snapper, it would make perfect sense. During his time off, Wilson certainly hasn't lost his edge as he ripped his way through to a solid heat win in his opening heat.

"I was excited about my return to competitive surfing," said Wilson. "Especially watching the waves the past few days I was hoping today would be pumping and it is, it's probably better than yesterday and to surf such ideal waves and win the heat is a good way to come back - The waves look set to remain perfect throughout this event and I'm super keen to get a result here."

Also, Coco Ho was another long time CT competitor to make her return to competition today and her performance didn't disappoint with the stylish Hawaiian claiming a two-wave heat total of 15.27 for an awesome display of frontside rail surfing.

Next call for competition, 6:45 a.m. AEST.

The Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl runs May 7 - 15 at the iconic Snapper Rocks.

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