Fantastic conditions graced Manly Beach today as the world's best longboard surfers glided into action at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, opening event of the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour (LT). Surfers opened the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on the same beach where Phyllis O'Donell and Midget Farrelly won the World Title of Surfing in 1964, surfing the same traditional style of that original era. Hanging Ten along with stylish drop knee cut backs were the ingredients for high scores in the pristine small, peeling waves.
Brazil's Chloe Calmon was the days standout surfer with excellent wave scores of 9.23 (out of a possible 10) and 8.40 as her back up to accrue a day's highest 17.63 (out of a possible 20) heat total to comprehensively win her opening round heat. The multiple-WSL Champion runner-up, Calmon continues to showcase her experience in beautiful waves with her abilities to match.
"I'm so happy to be back in Australia after two years, having a great time in Manly, I find a lot of similarities with the beach breaks I surf at home in Rio" said Calmon. "It's also great being here with my coach and Manly local Matt Chojnacki and I learn a lot about the surfing culture here in the Northern Beaches. The conditions this morning were great for longboarding and I hope it stays like that until the end."
Australia's Harrison Roach, 2021 World Title runner-up, is the No. 1 seed here in the men's and started his campaign with style taking a strong opening round heat win. Roach's approach to the small, pristine waves on offer went unmatched for the men, earning an impressive 15.13 heat total, and set the tone for what could be another World Title contending season.
"It's great to open the season here in Australia" said Roach. "Especially here at Manly, I'm feeling the history of the sport around Farrelly's World Title win and this really is a special beach - the waves are really small but on these longer boards they are good and there's plenty of high scoring potential out there."
With the Challenger Series potentially ready to start tomorrow, the surfing moves will likely transition from soul arches and cheater 5's to full rotation air reverses and alley oop aerials as the modern short boarders battle the all important opening rounds of the Challenger Series events.
How The WSL Longboard Tour Works
The first two events of the season at Manly Beach and Huntington Beach will be worth up to 5,000 rankings points each, while the final event in Malibu, the Longboard World Championships, will award 10,000 points to the winners. The World Titles will be awarded to the highest-ranked woman and man based on their best two results out of the three events.
Now that the early rounds have been completed, the remaining rounds through to finals will integrate with the Challenger Series event which begins tomorrow, running through to Tuesday May 24.