Australian Open of Surfing
Aussie Bodies Women’s Pro
WSL QS6000 Men's Event
WSL QS6000 Women's Event
Manly Beach, Sydney Australia
29 February - 6 March 2016
Difficult two-foot surf on tap at Manly Beach as the men hit the water
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 February, 2017 - The opening round of Men’s action at the Australian Open of Surfing kicked off today in difficult two-foot waves at Manly Beach, as the male competitors attempted to seal themselves a position into Round 2.
After suffering a first-round loss at the recent Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro QS6,000 event, Brazilian David do Carmo had a lot to be happy about after dominating his first round exchange at the Australian Open of Surfing. Do Carmo dominated the all-international affair, posting two excellent scores in the eight-point range to notch up an accumulative heat total of 16.67 (out of a possible 20 points). In an uncharacteristic move for a modern day professional surfer, Do Carmo recently sought work from Surfest staff following his recent elimination and opted to take a position with a handful of the site crew.
“I got lucky in that heat that all the waves came my way,” said do Carmo. “I was so nervous at the beginning of that heat but then things started to swing my way. It was an amazing heat for me. The next heat will be difficult with all the top seeds coming into the event, so I know I really need to work hard to get through. In Newcastle, I lost in the first heat so I talked to the crew and they gave me the opportunity to join them and work on the event. I learned so much from not only competing but also working, it was a great experience.”
After taking the runner-up position in the 2015 Australian Open of Surfing two years ago, Tahitian Mateia Hiquily developed a love affair with this event and looks to go one step further in 2017 as he strives for the podium again. Hiquily got the ball rolling early in his Round 1 heat, posting a 15.06 heat total for an eclectic mix of snaps and carves that kept his fellow competitors at arms length and allowed him to cement a position into the upcoming second round.
Josh Muniz © WSL / Tom Bennett
“I’m treating every heat as if it were a final,” said Hiquily. “I always aim to go out and get two sixes, but I got lucky and found two seven-point rides and got the win. I came here a week ago to train and try boards and so far everything feels good.”
Hawaiian native Josh Moniz continued to take scalps for the international surfers, taking out his opening heat. With the swell decreasing, Monz changed his tactic to account for the conditions and managed to notch up an impressive 16.16 heat total to create an uphill battle for his fellow competitors. Moniz put on a stellar performance in this same event in 2016, finishing in the Round five.
“With the swell dying, everything changed. I had planned on using different boards and everything but it all changed this morning,” said Moniz. “I kept an open mind in that heat and tried to move around and try all the different banks as I saw a lot of different surfers in earlier heats getting stuck on just the one bank. The first two heats are always the toughest, once I’m past that point I feel like I can free myself up a bit.”
2016 Australian Open of Surfing quarterfinalist Kalani Ball deepened his rapport with Manly’s punchy beach breaks, taking out his Round 1 heat with a respectable 13.36 heat total. The Illawarra natural-footer remained busy over the duration of the heat, catching ten waves and performing a wide array of manoeuvres. Ball will meet with fellow aerial dynamo and recent Surfest champion Yago Dora, 2017 Carve Pro QS champion Cam Richards and World Junior Championship runner-up Griffin Colapinto in the second round of competition.
Kalani Ball © WSL / Tom Bennett
“I feel confident here at Manly because the waves are so much like home,” said Ball. “The waves here really allow you to try a whole array of different moves, whether it be airs or different sorts of turns. Everyone in this event is an amazing surfer, so I know that I need to get two scores in the six or higher range.”
After sitting on the competitive bench for a chunk of the last eight months due to an ankle injury, Culburra’s Mikey Wright got his Australian Open of Surfing campaign off to a flying start posting two near-excellent scores in the 7.50 range. Wright seamlessly linked together a chain of exciting forehand turns to muster up the aforementioned scores and earn himself a spot into Round 2.
“Last year I only did a few events and lost in the first round, so it definitely feels good to take a victory,” said Wright. “I think I definitely learned a lot from those losses. I was out with injury for the majority of the year in 2016 and I’ve only just taken off the tight brace and using tape. I didn’t have any pain or niggles either which is definitely a good sign.”