The GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl, The second stop of the WSL Challenger Series, has enjoyed yet another great day of super clean, high-performance two-to-three foot waves at the famous Manly Beach. High scores were posted consistently throughout the day as the scene is now set for a huge weekend of surf action following the completion for men's Round of 96 and nearly all of the women's Round of 64.
North Shore Duo Rule Australia's Northern Beaches
Hawaiian surfers dominated the women's Round of 64 with Luana Silva leading the charge with the second highest heat total of the event so far. Silva's 16.16 two-wave combination came from an epic combination of swooping rail-turns and vertical re-entries. Silva took the top spot in her heat with Kiwi veteran Paige Hareb progressing in second spot.
"That was a dream start to that heat for me getting an 8.33 on my first wave" said Silva. "Small beach breaks aren't exactly what I'm used to coming from Hawaii and I feel it's an area of my competitive surfing I need to work on and I'm stoked with how that heat went for me - The waves are fun."
Silva is part of an exciting bunch of young Hawaiian's rapidly climbing the ranks which included Moana Jones Wong and Zoe McDougall who all advanced impressively while Bettylou Sakura Johnson will surf her opening round heat tomorrow morning. Jones-Wong, known as one of the greatest females to surf Pipeline and the current Pipeline Champion, was a standout today, showing the world she can match it with the best in performance waves as well, posting a 15.83 two-wave total to take out her opening heat.
"I was really nervous coming into that heat," Jones-Wong said. "Most people believe I can only surf well at Pipeline and that I don't have the turns and moves in smaller waves so I'm really pleased to put that on show today and take the win and post excellent scores."
Australia's Elite Ease Into Round of 32
Australia's Molly Picklum is fast becoming a crowd favorite as she consistently posts impressive heat wins along with brilliant scores. She placed runner-up just last week at the opening Challenger Series event on the Gold Coast and she opened today with a powerful heat win which included both the day's top scoring ride (9.27 out of a possible 10) and the highest winning two-wave tally of 16.34.
"I was quite nervous going into that heat but when I got that great score I started to feel a lot better, " said Picklum. "Getting the first heat out of the way and scoring well has me confident now and I just want to build on that heat and gain momentum and aim for another great result."
Jorgann Couzinet's Critical Close to the Round of 96
After a solid showing at the recent Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Jorgann Couzinet has come to Manly hoping to lock in a keeper result to leave Australia with as he has his sights firmly set on Champion Tour qualification by the end of this season. The Frenchman got his campaign at Manly off to a fantastic start, posting a 15.00 point two-wave combination to take a commanding heat win in the final heat of the day for the men. Couzinet was happy to see his countrymen Thomas Debierre and Gatien Delahaye also progressing through the Round of 96.
"That was a stressful heat in the end," said Couzinet. "I had the excellent wave score but I had a very poor second required score and I knew I needed to find a wave - luckily it came to me and I got the score to secure the win. - "I top scored for Round 1 here and on the Gold Coast last week but I don't want to drop out in Round two here like I did on the Gold Coast - My focus has to be to keep progressing - I'm surfing well, my equipment feels great and I need to keep progressing."
Reigning event winner here at Manly Leonardo Fioravanti continued where he left off at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, taking an impressive heat win in the Round of 96. Fioravanti will be joined in the Round of 48 by Japanese competitor Taichi Wakita who also put down a solid performance early on the second day of competition to win his Round of 96 heat.
A 6:45 a.m. AEST call will determine a possible 7:05 a.m. AEST start for the GWM Sydney Surf Pro.