Homegrown talent shine at Surf Open

Friday March 3, 2017

In pristine conditions at Manly Beach, Julian Wilson, Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons turned in masterclass performances at Day 7 of the Australian Open of Surfing (AOS).

All three big guns dominated their heats to book themselves places in the final weekend of competition.

The top seeds of the Girls Make Your Move Women’s Pro and Men’s Comp didn’t disappoint, with Wilson moving through to Round 4, along with Aussie pros Mikey Wright (Culburra), Mitch Crews (Gold Coast), Adam Melling (Lennox Head), Ryan Callinan (Newcastle) and defending AOS champion Dion Atkinson (Adelaide).

“It’s a pretty small playing field out there with the tide like it is,” Wilson said. “I saw Dion (Atkinson) head up the beach and when I heard he was getting scores up there I thought I should go and join him. It was good to get a few backhand turns and a few forehand ramps out there, it’s good to mix things up.”

In an upset, Jack Freestone (Tweed Heads) was knocked out of his Round 3 Heat, placing third behind Brazil’s Marco Fernandez and Costa Rica’s Noe Mar McGonagle.

In the Women Pro, Tyler Wright (Culburra) posted a combined total of 17.43 to win her Round 4 heat, while Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa) also topped her heat with a 14.32 total, edging out Hawaiian world #7 Malia Manuel. World #1 Wright shone in particular, pulling off a solid 9.10 run on her way to Round 5.

“This is really the start of my competitive season,” Wright said. “It’s good to start getting all of the competitive juices flowing and turning on everything that has been off since Maui. I like this contest, it fits in the schedule nicely with Snapper and it always attracts a good field so can really get you prepared for the CT season.”

Gracetown (WA) favourite and world number 17 Bronte McCauley also delivered on promise, winning her heat and moving into Round 5, along with Aussie compatriot Claire Bevilacqua (Perth).

Aussie CT pro Keely Andrew delivered a strong performance, beating out French world #5 Johanne Defay to a Round 4 upset victory, with the Aussie success continuing in Round 4 (Heat 7) as Sunshine Coast rising star Isabella Nichols won her heat over defending AOS champion Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island), who also moved into Round 5.

Despite inclement weather, the Vans Park Series Sydney Global Qualifier also prevailed today, kicking off a high-energy showcase by the world’s most talented park terrain skateboarders.

17-year old contest veteran Tom Schaar’s stunning expert form led the qualifiers round, where he exercised laser-focused consistency to earn a 90-point best run score.

Top performances also spotlighted Sydney wildcard Clay Kreiner, 2nd, and Brazilian Murilo Peres, 3rd, both of whom dominated the park course with persistent speed, power and creativity.

The top six Challenger rankings from the qualifiers round will now advance to the Semis, joining 14 of the confirmed VPS Select Pros for the final heats of competition tomorrow, March 4.

News Source: Cardinal Spin