MANLY BEACH, Sydney, NSW / Australia (Tuesday, May 24, 2022) - Finals Day at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl, the second stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS) and the first event of the WSL Longboard Tour (LT) has been completed today at Manly Beach with men's and women's winner's being crowned across both divisions. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Rio Waida (IDN) have claimed the biggest wins of their careers in the Challenger Series event while Honolua Blomfield (HAW) and Harrison Roach (AUS) have taken out the opening event of the 2022 LT season.
After over a week of action, Manly Beach, on cue, delivered the best conditions of the entire period with super clean, three-to-four foot surf on offer all Finals Day, making it an incredible crescendo to what has been three straight months of professional surfing action on Australian shores.
Rio Waida and Teresa Bonvalot Claim Biggest Victories of Their Careers
Portugal's Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) has long been touted as the next European female to join the elite ranks and battle for a title on the Championship Tour. Today, Bonvalot has taken a step in the right direction, taking the biggest win of her young career with a victory here at the Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series event. The stylish goofy-footer went through the event, relatively under the radar but brought out her best performance in the Final, posting her highest two-wave combination of the event in her matchup with Nikki van Dijk (AUS). Bonvalot's 15.83 two-wave combination was too much for van Dijk to chase down and clinch her second victory here at Manly.
"It's so amazing to win here, I love coming to Australia and I have had good results here before the pandemic so it's just fantastic to be back here and winning," said Bonvalot. "It's the biggest win of my career and to have a good Portuguese crowd here supporting me is fantastic - So good for Portugal."
Rio Waida (IDN) has taken out the biggest win of any Indonesian in world surfing today, claiming his maiden CS win at Manly Beach. Earlier in the week, Waida was named the Wildcard for the upcoming Quiksilver Pro G-Land Championship Tour event, but his focus never moved from the task at hand, and it showed, as the Olympian put down the standout performances of the event to eventually find himself in the Final against Ryan Callinan (AUS). The Final was the true representation of the best performers of the event, with Callinan and Waida going toe-to-toe in epic beach-break conditions at Manly and Waida coming out on top with a two wave combination of 17.53 which included a near perfect 9.50 (out of a possible 10).
"I'm really happy to win but the job is not finished yet for me," said Waida. "My goal this year is to qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour and this is a great result but I must continue to get great results. I'm looking forward to the G-Land event at home in Indonesia which starts this weekend - My surfing ability is there to compete against the world's best and be the best in the world. I've trained hard and I will continue to train and improve - It's a great day for me and Indonesia."
Roach Claims Maiden Longboard Tour Victory With Reigning World Champion Blomfield
Noosa's Harrison Roach (AUS) has claimed his maiden WSL event victory at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro with an emphatic win over Great Britain's Ben Skinner (GRB). The pair were the form surfers all event but it was Roach who was able to back up his performances with an excellent one in the Final. Roach combined critical nose-rides, tight arcs and floating maneuvers to post an excellent heat total of 16.50 which proved too great for Skinner to overcome.
"I did what I came here to do and I'm extremely happy as it's my first Longboard Tour win," Roach said. " Obviously my ultimate aim is it to win the world title this year and the final event at Malibu in California will be crucial to taking the title but this is definitely the ideal start - It's been a big day surfing and defeating local hero Declan Wyton (AUS) in front of all his fans and then Ben Skinner in that final and the waves were great today."
The women's Longboard Tour final was a familiar sight as perennial title threat Chloe Calmon (BRA) came up against three-time Reigning WSL Longboard World Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) as each surfer looked to get their 2022 season off to the perfect start. Calmon looked to have the advantage early, leading the heat from the first exchange, but, in typical Blomfield fashion, the stylish Hawaiian found a set with only minutes left, riding the nose and carving all the way to the beach to take the lead and the event win, in the dying minutes of the heat.
"I knew it was going to be a really tough final to win because Chloe is such an amazing surfer," said Blomfield. "Despite being in second place throughout the final I remained calm and always knew I could take the win - that's something that has evolved in my competitive surfing - remain calm and know that the wave you need can eventually come to you and that happened today and it's the perfect way to begin my title defence."
Aussie Duo Lock in Spots in Challenger Series Rankings Top 10
Although they both fell short of the ultimate goal of winning here in Manly, former CT competitors Ryan Callinan and Nikki van Dijk have rocketed into the Top 10 on the 2022 WSL Challenger Series rankings. For van Dijk, today's runner-up finish was the perfect result to compliment a fight place finish on the Gold Coast whilst for Callinan, it was a much needed response to an uncharacteristic first round loss at Snapper. Callinan is now sixth on the rankings whilst van Dijk is in second place and looking solid to find her way back on to the Championship Tour by year's end.
The 2022 GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl Challenger Series and WSL Longboard Tour events will run at Manly Beach through May 24, 2022. For more information, please visist WorldSurfLeauge.com or check the free WSL App.
This event is proudly supported by GWM, Rip Curl, Destination NSW, Bond University, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Oakberry, Oakley, Dometic Outdoor, Coopers, Northern Beaches Council, Havaianas, Bailey Ladders, and FCS. GWM Sydney Surf Pro Women's Challenger Series Results
Semifinals HEAT 1: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 13.07 DEF. Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 12.74 HEAT 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.37 DEF. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 12.77
Final HEAT 1: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 15.83 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.13
GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men's Challenger Series Results
Quarterfinals HEAT 1: Rio Waida (IDN) 14.83 DEF. Brodi Sale (HAW) 12.70 HEAT 2: Jett Schilling (USA) 15.93 DEF. Kade Matson (USA) 9.67 HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 18.23 DEF. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 17.07 HEAT 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 13.13 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.40
Semifinals HEAT 1: Rio Waida (IDN) 13.50 DEF. Jett Schilling (USA) 8.50 HEAT 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 16.34 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.23
Final HEAT 1: Rio Waida (IDN) 17.73 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.70
GWM Sydney Surf Pro Women's Longboard Results
Semifinals HEAT 1: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 13.60 DEF. Tully White (AUS) 12.00 HEAT 2: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 13.37 DEF. Soleil Errico (USA) 12.90
Final HEAT 1:Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 12.87 DEF. Chloe Calmon (BRA) 12.06 GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men's Longboard Results
GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men's Longboard Results
Semifinals HEAT 1: Ben Skinner (GBR) 17.70 DEF. Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 16.73 HEAT 2: Harrison Roach (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Declan Wyton (AUS) 13.57
Finals HEAT 1:Harrison Roach (AUS) 16.50 DEF. Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.67