It was a spectacular day of sunshine and small waves in Sydney today for the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro presented by NG Farah World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS)1000 event. The event signals the first QS pointscore event of the 2023 season.
Conditions were small but contestable at Maroubra beach but perfect for the professional surfers and future stars to pull out their best small-wave heat strategy after a weekend of maxing waves.
It was the surfers from the north side of the Harbour Bridge who dominated the morning. Avalon athlete Darcy Crump and Anne Dos Santos (Long Reef) are well versed in all conditions.
Dos Santos spent Saturday charging the huge waves of Manly’s Deadmans slab break showing her elite surfing depth, moving from big wave surfing to groveling waves. Her dynamic surfing skill shone through in the first round where she scored one of the highest heat totals (14.83) of the day across the draw and with good scores in the second round she secured her place in the Quarter Finals.
Dos Santos said, “every event dishes up different conditions so you have to be ready to surf anything and just go for it. Being on the best waves definitely makes a difference on days like this and I am just grateful that I was able to be on some of those during my heats today.”
“For me it’s all about staying cool under pressure, realising that you cannot control the ocean but you can do everything in your power to make the most of opportunities or even to create them,” she said.
Tweed Coast Pro Junior Champion Sierra Kerr was stoked with her first heat in Sydney. With just two waves the young prodigy claimed her place to progress through to the next round. “It’s so nice to be here and have the sun shining,” said Kerr. “Every QS event is an opportunity to learn something new and try different things so I’m really happy to be here competing against this field of talented women,” she said.
The Men surfed three heats today and Darcy Crump held his momentum right across the day and through the changing tides. The Northern Beaches athlete understands the importance of strategy in the most testing conditions.
“It’s super important to be able to perform in all conditions,” said Crump. “Each day is different and you never really know what you are going to get. You almost need to be able to surf one-foot to 10 foot with no worries,” he said after surfing the big swells over the weekend yet having success today.
“Heat strategy plays a big part in small waves. It can be difficult to choose a strategy for a heat when it’s small because you just don’t know how many sets or waves will come through in your heat. On top of that you always want to have an open mind and go with the flow of everything that is happening around you,” said Crump
NSW surfer Dakoda Walters (Angourie) finished off the day with two huge eight-point rides to take the highest heat total of the day (16.77) in the final heat of the day. (Photographed below by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW)
Both the Men and Women will head into Quarter Finals action tomorrow ahead of finishing the event at Maroubra.