It’s been a wet and wooly day at the CARVE Great Lakes Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event with the third day of competition seeing the Men’s and Women’s Quarter Finalists decided in bumpy three-to-four foot surf at north Boomerang Beach. It was a tough day for the top seeds and only a handful progressed through to finals day.
Lennox Head competitor Nyxie Ryan (pictured above, photo by Natalie Meredith) set the bar high in the opening heat of Round 4, posting a solid two-wave total of 14.40 to lock herself a spot in the Quarterfinals. Fresh off an equal fifth at the Phillip Island Pro, Ryan is hoping to keep up the form across the entire regional QS this year and even lock in a spot on the 2022 Challenger Series. Today, she kept those hopes alive, progressing ahead of teenage sensation Sierra Kerr.
“The waves were very fun out there and I was absolutely stoked to find a couple of critical sections that allowed me to gather some good scores,” Ryan said. “I am planning on doing all the events in the series and I’m just hoping to get some more QS heat experience. Fingers crossed I can take out a couple of heats.”
One of the event favourites that did survive the Round of 16 was Zahli Kelly who put on a solid performance in the tough conditions to progress into the Quarterfinals. Although it was hard to move around in the lineup, Kelly relished the opportunity to hit a few big sections and it showed as she posted two mid-range scores to move on to finals Day.
“Every time I took off on a wave I just wanted it to count as if you fell off, the paddle out was really tough,” Kelly said. “It was awesome to see the swell pick up and it was fun to hit a few bigger sections. I know some of the other high seeds are out but I’ m really just focussing on myself and what I can do to win heats.”
In Round 4 Heat 2 it was former Championship Tour competitor Stu Kennedy (pictured above, photo by Natalie Meredith) getting the job done to set himself up with a spot in the Quarterfinals as he looks to solidify himself a spot on the 2022 Challenger Series. Kennedy was able to show off his elite rail game and throw in some variations with a huge air reverse in bowly afternoon conditions.
“I’m stoked to be into the Quarterfinals in what was a back-and-forth heat against a really competitive field,” Kennedy said. “I tried my best to use my heat experience to sit away from everyone and chase some of the sets. It’s definitely a goal of mine to get back on the World Tour”.
Kobi Clements continued his red hot form and secured a spot in the Quarterfinals for the second event in a row. Clements was able to overcome event top seed and former CT competitor Matt Banting to progress just behind New Zealand Olympian Billy Stairmand.
“My best result was equal fifth at the last event at Phillip Island so I’m pretty excited to try and go a couple more at this event,” Clements said. “I don’t really think of myself as a competitive surfer so it’s cool to make a few heats, especially against surfers like Stu Kennedy and Matt Banting – guys I’ve always looked up to.”
Other surfers to progress through to the Quarterfinals included Central Coast surfer Joel Vaughan, Avalon Beach local Darcy Crump and Snapper Rocks surfer Jaggar Bartholemew.
Arabella Wilson, Gabi Spake, Bodhi Leigh-Jones and Ellia Smith were the other women to progress into the Quarterfinals.
Competitors will reconvene at north Boomerang beach at 7:30 am for the Quarterfinals running through to Finals. The CARVE Great Lakes Pro winners will be crowned tomorrow.
Kayo Freebies can be accessed by downloading the Kayo Sports app or visiting www.kayosports.com.au/freebies and registering for a Freebies account. Kayo Freebies are free, and no credit card details are required to register and start streaming.
2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule
Event 1: C A R V E Great Lakes Pro, Boomerang Beach 22 – 25 Feb
Event 2: Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro, Birubi Beach 27 Feb – 1 March
Event 3: Mad Mex Maroubra Pro, Maroubra Beach Presented by N G Farah 4 – 6 March
Event 4: Vissla Central Coast Pro Presented by Mad Mex, Avoca Beach 14 – 19 March
The 2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series will be proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The series will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Randwick City Council, Central Coast Council, Mid Coast Council, Port Stephens Council, Mad Mex, Sisstrevolution, Storage King, Moby’s Beachside Retreat, Avoca Beach Hotel, WSL and Surfing NSW.