Hawaii’s Moana Jones Wong surfs in Heat 5 of Round of 64 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 in Manly Beach, NSW, Australia. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)
- Hawaii’s Next Harvest Shines at Manly Beach
- Mixed results for the event’s top seeds
- Manly continues to deliver for the Women’s Round of 64
- No longer available on WorldSurfLeague.com
the GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl, the second leg of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS), had another great day of super clean, high performance two to three foot waves at famous Manly Beach. High scores were posted consistently throughout the day as the stage was set for a huge weekend of surfing action. Today saw the end of the first heats for both men and women.
North Shore Duo rules Australia’s northern beaches
Hawaiian surfers dominated the Women’s Round of 64 with Luana Silva (HAW) leads the charge with the second-highest heat total of the event so far. Silva’s 16.16 two-wave suit is born from an epic combination of nose-down turns and vertical tucks. Silva took first place in her heat with Kiwi veteran Paige Hareb advancing to second place.
“It was a dream start to this run for me, getting an 8.33 on my first wave,” Silva said. “Small beach breaks aren’t exactly what I’m used to coming to from Hawaii and I think that’s an area of my competitive surfing that I need to work on and I’m thrilled with how this heat unfolded for me – Waves are fun.”
Silva is part of an exciting group of young Hawaiians who are rapidly rising through the ranks, including Moana Jones-Wong (HAW) and Zoe McDougall(HAW) who have all made impressive progress while Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) will ride its opening wave tomorrow morning. Jones-Wong, known as one of the greatest women to surf Pipeline and the current Pipeline Champion, stood out today, showing the world that she can match it with the best performance waves too , posting a total of 15.83 over two waves to take its opening heat.
“I was really nervous coming into that heat,” Jones-Wong said. “Most people think I can only surf Pipeline well and don’t have the turns and movements in smaller waves, so I’m really excited to show that today and get the win and to post excellent scores.”
Mixed results for women’s seeds in Round of 16
australia Molly Picklum (AUS) are quickly becoming a crowd favorite as they consistently post impressive heat wins as well as brilliant scores. She placed second last week at the Challenger Series opener on the Gold Coast and she opened today with a powerful Heat win that included both the highest scoring race in the day (9.27 out of a possible 10) and the highest two-wave win. total of 16.34.
“I was quite nervous before this round, but when I got that good score I started to feel a lot better,” Picklum said. “Eliminating the first set and scoring well gives me confidence now and I just want to build on this set and build momentum and aim for another great result.”
Other seeds that performed well included former CT competitors Macy Callaghan (Australia), Nikki van Dijk (Australia) and Keely Andrew (AUS) as well as Zahli Kelly (Australia) and Therese Bonvalot (PRT) who all progressed to the Round of 16.
Yolande Hopkins (PRT), Bronte Macaulay(Australia) and Leilani McGonagle (CRI) are all top 20 surfers who sadly dropped out of the draw today in Manly and hope to put that discarded result behind them as they focus on the next event.
Young American sensation and current Challenger Series leader Caitlin Simmers (USA) drew a lot of attention late in the day and the exciting young Californian took a comfortable victory in the opening round. Simmers’ effortless backhand style earned him an average Heat total of 12.57 to pick up the win.
“I’m enjoying my time in Australia and all of my family is here and between events we’ve used the time to ride the coast here and hit a variety of waves which has been great,” Simmers said. “Apart from surfing, I also skated a lot – there are a lot of skate parks here.”
Jorgann Couzinet leads the international charge in the remaining legs of the round of 16
After a strong showing at the recent Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) came to Manly hoping to get a goalkeeping result to leave Australia as he is firmly aiming to qualify for the Champion Tour by the end of this season. The Frenchman started his Manly campaign in fantastic fashion, posting a two-wave combination of 15.00 points to take a decisive victory in the final run of the day for the men. Couzinet was happy to see his compatriots Thomas Debierre (FRA) and Gatien Delehaye(FRA) also progress to the round of 16.
“It was a stressful round at the end,” Couzinet said. “I had the great wave score but had a really bad second required score and knew I had to find a wave – luckily it came to me and got the score to secure the win – “I have the best score for round 1 here and on the Gold Coast last week, but I don’t want to give up round 2 here like I did on the Gold Coast – My aim must be to continue improve – I’m surfing well, my gear feels good and I need to keep improving.
Defending winner of the event here in Manly Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) continued where he left off at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, taking an impressive win in the round of 96. Fioravanti will be joined in the round of 48 by a Japanese competitor taichi wakita (JPN) who also put in a solid performance at the start of the second day of competition to win their round of 96.
Other competitors progressing in the Gold Coast duo included Liam O’Brien (Australia) and Sheldon Simkus (AUS), Brazilian dynamo Mateus Herdy(BRA) and former competitor of CT
David Silva (BRA).
The 2022 GWM Sydney Surf Pro events presented by Rip Curl Challenger Series and WSL Longboard Tour will take place at Manly Beach until May 24, 2022. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeauge.com or view the free WSL app.
This event is proudly supported by GWM, Rip Curl, Destination NSW, Bond University, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Oakberry, Oakley, Dometic Outdoor, Coopers, Northern Beaches Council, Havaianas, Bailey Ladders and FCS.
All Challenger Series events will be streamed LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL YouTube channel and the free WSL app. Check local listings for WSL broadcast partner coverage. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the quarter-finals of the competition and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.
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