Beautiful sunny conditions and clean peeling waves welcomed competitors today at The Gold Coast Open with 8 heats of men’s round three and eight heats of women’s round two completed setting the stage for a massive finals day.
Current women’s WSL QS leader Isabella Nichols has once again progressed through her heat with ease, taking advantage of the right-handers on offer at Burleigh Point by laying out an array of forehand carves and snaps.
Nichols defeated Claire Bevilacqua, Ellie Brooks and Amy Gore respectively in an exciting first heat of the day.
Nichols put together a 6.25 (out of a possible 10.00) combined with a 4.5 for a total heat score of 10.75 (out of a possible 20.00). Nichols couldn’t keep the smile off her face as she returned to shore, as she will progress to round three tomorrow.
“It was pretty hard out there,” said Nichols. “There definitely weren’t many waves in that heat. I got a few good waves at the start, which helped a lot, a couple of good ones came through. I’m looking forward to some bigger waves tomorrow, Burleigh is awesome when there are good waves.”
Other standout names in the women’s division include Holly Williams (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Kirra Belle Olsson (Avoca Beach, NSW), Sophie McCulloch (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Dimity Stoyle (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and Ren Hashimoto (Japan).
Former WSL World Tour surfer Ethan Ewing (North Stradbroke Island, QLD) will advance into round 4 tomorrow, after taking out his round 3 heat today with a combined heat total of 15.35. Ewing made the most of a lull-filled heat with not many waves on offer, managing to score one of the highest single waves scores of the event, a 9.0 – backed up with a 6.35 to take him into the lead. Ewing defeated Finn Hill (Avoca Beach, NSW), Alister Reginato (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and local surfer Maddy Job (Burleigh Heads, QLD) respectively in a high-energy heat.
“It feels really good,” said Ewing. “I had a bit of a shaky start in my earlier heat, so it’s good to make it through to round 4. I’m looking forward to surfing more heats, and getting back into my rhythm. This contest is full of up-and-coming surfers so it’s definitely not easy – but it’s a lot of fun.”
Former event winner, Indonesian surfer and current Gold Coast resident Oney Anwar (Palm Beach, QLD) will progress through to round 4 along with Billy Stairmand (New Zealand) after he scores a combined heat total of 12.5 – eliminating Jack Murray (Lennox Head, NSW) and Kurtis Vaughan (Bateau Bay, NSW). Anwar carved up a 6.5 early on in his heat, and it was not until the dying minutes of the heat in which he was able to score his 6.0 as a backup and take him through to round 4.
“I definitely had to get in tune with the ocean for that heat,” said Anwar. “I had to be patient for sure, the ocean was being very slow. It was a bit nerve-racking when I heard another surfer get a big score really early in the heat – I knew I would have to the what I could get and surf it well. I don’t want to overthink the rest of the event, I’m just going to take it heat-by-heat.”
Other standout surfers from men’s round 3 included Sheldon Simkus (Tweed Heads, NSW), Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW), Josh Boyle (Gold Coast, QLD), and Callum Robson (Evans Head, NSW).
Tomorrow will see the QS event back in the water first up, with the event wrapping up in the afternoon. Competitors/spectators are encouraged to call Surfing Queensland’s events hotline on (07) 3030 6388 from 6:30 am each morning of the event for a confirmed time/location.
Previous winners of the Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre (formerly Burleigh Pro) include names like Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Dimity Stoyle, Owen Wright, Kobie Enright, Mitch Crews and Isabella Nichols. The event is known for attracting surfers from all corners of the globe including Indonesia, North America, France, Brazil and Japan.
This year will again host an open Men’s and Women’s division, as well as the introduction of the Pro Junior Men’s and Women’s event. As an added value, attendees can look forward to other attractions including live bands, skateboarding event and Mother’s Day sunrise yoga sessions.
The 2019 Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre is proudly supported by Flight Centre, Tourism and Events Queensland, The Gold Coast City Council, Boheme and Body, Lulu Lemon, Emetheni, Skate Park Leagues, H2Coco, Mercedes Benz Gold Coast, Surfing World Magazine, Coastal Watch Plus, Air Asia, The Queensland Government and Surfing Queensland.
To stay up to date with any news regarding the 2019 Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre, head to www.surfingqueensland.com.au