- WSL / Shannon Hayes

Lennox Head duo Nyxie Ryan (AUS) and Mikey McDonagh (AUS) have taken the most significant victories of their careers, winning the 2023 Camplify Great Lakes Pro, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event. The pair battled through a massive field of Australia and Oceania's best up-and-coming competitors to become winners in bumpy three-to-five foot surf at the picturesque Boomerang Beach.

Mikey McDonagh Mikey McDonagh with a clutch performance in the dying seconds of the Final. - WSL / Shannon Hayes

Mikey McDonagh (AUS) has claimed an emphatic victory at Boomerang Beach, losing the lead then regaining it all in the final minute of competition. McDonagh came up against Sunny Coaster Taj Stokes (AUS) in the Final and looked in control for its entirety, although Stokes was only looking for a mid-range score to take the lead. With 45 seconds left, McDonagh let Stokes take a smaller wave, and he did enough to take the lead, leaving McDonagh needing a 7.04 (out of a possible 10) and wondering if he had just handed the title to his opponent. Before he had time to digest it, a set popped up, and with only 4 seconds left on the clock, McDonagh took off and lay down four solid turns to earn the score and the win with a two-wave total of 13.34 (out of a possible 20).

"This is the best feeling in the world - I'm over the moon right now. That came right down to the wire there, so I'm so stoked to get the win," McDonagh said. "In the last few minutes of the heat, I knew Taj wouldn't need much of a wave to get the mid-range score he needed. When I let him go on that one, I didn't think it looked like much, but it obviously gave him two decent sections on the inside. When I got my last one, it gave me a big section out the back, and that sent me on my way. It's all a bit of a blur, to be honest - I'm kind of lost for words. This event has been a good one for me - I've just felt really felt in sync and enjoyed myself surfing heats."

Mikey McDonagh Mikey McDonagh celebrating his win on the beach - WSL / Shannon Hayes

Taj Stokes (AUS) only just missed out on taking the win, but a second place at a QS 3,000 is still the biggest points haul of his career and will go a long way to his Challenger Series qualification campaign.

The women's Final saw two of Australia's most dominant upstarts in, Nyxie Ryan (AUS) and Ellie Harrison (AUS), going head-to-head in the peaks of Boomerang Beach as both looked for the most prominent points haul of their young careers, a win at a QS 3,000 event. Both competitors posted mid-range scores early, which kept things tight in the 30-minute matchup, but in the end, it was Ryan who was able to back it up and take control. Harrison couldn't find a wave that offered her scoring potential, leaving Ryan to defend her 2022 Boomerang title with a winning total of 12.66.

"This feels good - I'm super stoked," Ryan said. "It's been a big couple of days, and to get the win, I had to surf four times today, so I'm exhausted, but I knew this would be the case, and it's all worth it now. It's cool to have Mikey in the Final too. It's great for the two of us to represent our hometown of Lennox and hopefully make everyone proud. I've done well at 1000 events, so getting the win at a 3000 is a massive improvement. I'm stoked."

Nyxie Ryan Nyxie Ryan continuing her love affair with Boomerang Beach. - WSL / Shannon Hayes

Harrison may have fallen short of winning, but her second place finish at the Camplify Great Lakes has solidified her spot in second place on the WSL Australia/Oceania regional rankings. The win has taken Nyxie Ryan all the way to the top 5 on the rankings ahead of the next event at Port Stephen's, which will kick off on Monday.

The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series 2023 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

The 2023 Camplify Great Lakes Pro, will run from February 21 - 24.

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