Competitors braved wild and wooly conditions at the inaugural Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar Energy Drink at Boomerang Beach as they attempted to seal themselves a position in tomorrow’s final rounds.
Yago Dora (Brazil) caused the upset of the event eliminating Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout, Qld) from the competition. The Brazilian goofy-footer nailed a giant frontside aerial manoeuvre to post a massive near-perfect 9.35 wave score (out of a possible 10 points) and consequently got the upper-hand over Ewing and Jesse Adam (Merewether, NSW) who were eliminated from the event. Marco Giorgi also progressed through the intense battle with a heat total of 14.55 (out of a possible 20 points).
“The waves are perfect for airs. It’s super powerful so it throws you really high when you hit sections,” said Dora. “I knew I’d need some big scores to get through that heat, Ethan Ewing has been ripping so hard all event and he beat me in the last round, so to have got the win over him feels great.”
Hot off a victory at the Central Coast Pro, Justine Dupont (France) continued to keep the ball rolling through the Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, taking an impressive round three victory over Paige Hareb (NZL), Mikaela Greene (Yallingup, WA) and Ren Hashimoto (Japan). Both Dupont and Hareb locked in two decent rides, for giant, critical turns, but it was Dupont who took the win by a 0.60 margin.
“I had to change my tactics a lot because the swell picked up so much,” said Dupont. “You had to be really careful what waves you chose because you could get caught out by a big set if you caught the wrong one. I was trying not to listen to the scores at all, but just surf as good as I possibly could and just focus on getting better with every wave.”
Ian Crane (USA) was one of today’s standout performers, posting a handful of wave scores in excess of 8.00 points for explosive forehand snaps and carves. The powerful goofy-footer will face Jorgann Couzinet (REU), Marco Giorgo (URY) and Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW) in round six tomorrow.
“The paddle out was a nightmare. It was actually kinda scary, you’d catch one and then have to scratch as hard as you can to get out the back and not take a set on the head,” said Crane. “These bigger, stormy waves are actually my favourite waves to surf. I don’t get them too often in events and I don’t really like it when it’s small and grovelly.” Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW) made light work of the intimidating lineup hitting an array of critical sections with a healthy combination of speed, power and flow. As a result, the natural-footer posted an 8.60 scoring wave and cemented his position into tomorrow’s final rounds.
“It was quite hard to get back out the back after catching a wave,” said Bailey. “There’s some good waves out there, but it’s pretty wild as well. I’m just stoked to find a few good ones and get through that heat.”
Mikaela Greene (Yallingup, WA) is the overall NSW Pro Surf Series champion after rival and series contender Philippa Anderson was eliminated from the event. Despite both surfers being knocked from the event in round three, Anderson still mathematically needed to claim victory at the Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro presented by Rockstar Energy Drink to claim the overall championship.
“I’m a little disappointed to have been knocked out of this event, but I’m still stoked to have one the overall title. I’m pretty happy with my performance over the last three or four competitions,” said Greene. “This series has been incredible and filled a much needed void for a lot of surfers. I can’t wait for 2017.”
Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) powered through her round three heat while Georgia Fish (Flinders) also advanced in second position, thus eliminating Nagisa Toshiro (Japan) and Stephanie Single (Lennox Head, NSW) from the event. Callaghan capitalised when it counted, taking off on massive set waves and executed giant forehand blasts to net an 8.50 and a position into tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
“I got a pretty quick start on that heat, so I think I got a massive advantage,” said Callaghan. “I’m really hungry to get a good result and I knew the other girls would be really hard to beat, especially when it’s big, so I’m stoked to have got through it.”