The GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl, The second stop of the WSL Challenger Series and the opening event of the Longboard Tour has continued today with women going head-to-head for their place into the Quarterfinals.
Local hopeful Tully White was the biggest winner of the day, claiming an all-important Round of 16 win with a dominating performance over French competitor Zoe Grospiron - much to the delight of her friends and family watching on the beach at their home spot. The heat was anyone's to win with both surfers having mid-range score to their names until, with less than 10-minutes left, White found one of the biggest waves of the day.
White stepped straight to the nose for a long hang-10 before a smooth, drop knee cutback and finishing strong to accrue the day's highest single-wave score of a 9.10 (out of a possible 10).
"It's definitely super special to be here at home and have all of this support on the beach," White said. "It's been crazy seeing so many friends and family down here on a Tuesday afternoon, I really appreciate all of this support for sure. Everyone has been saying it's super small but this is about as dreamy as logging gets here at North Steyne so I'm pretty frothy. I was stoked to get that bigger one - it gave me some good opportunities for sure."
The second heat of the day saw Japanese competitor Natsumi Taoka take a massive win over Californian competitor Lindsay Steinriede to book herself a spot in the Quarterfinals at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro. Steinriede came into the match up a favorite with over a decade of competing behind her and 2011 world title, Taoka had her work cut out for her and she dug deep to take the win, posting an impressive 16.67 two-wave heat total. Taoka's excellent total included a 9.00 point ride for a series of long nose rides in the critical section.
"The waves are small but it feels a lot like home in Japan so I was having fun," Taoka said. "I woke up this morning early and warmed up then we went on hold for quite a while so by the time we got underway I was really ready to go. It was great to get some heats run today and it felt so good to go excellent on that one wave. My boards and surfing are feeling great so I'm so happy to get rewarded."
Californian Mason Schremmer and Hawaii's Sophia Culhane were the other two standout upstarts in the Round of 16 with Schremmer taking down veteran and 2021 title runner-up Alice Lemoigne and Culhane overcoming fellow Hawaii competitor Kirra Seale.
Title Hopefuls Progress into Quarterfinals
It was a good day for a crop of recent world title holders with reigning World Champion Honolua Blomfield, as well as the 2018 WSL Longboard Champion Soleil Errico and 2015 Rachael Tilly all taking heat wins in the Round of 16 and progressing into the Quarterfinals. Along with the World Champions, perennial title threat Chloe Calmon continued her charge towards Finals Day, claiming a victory in the opening heat of the Round of 16.
A 7:00 a.m. AEST call will be made for the GWM Sydney Surf Pro.