Day four of the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro saw a change in location as contest officials made the call to move from Kingscliff to Cabarita. The big call paid dividends as competitors were treated to clean and pristine four to five foot peelers. The big day saw plenty of action and plenty of rain as two rounds of the men’s division and one round of the women’s were run and won, locking in the draw for finals day tomorrow.
Reigning event champion Ty Watson put on a jaw-dropping performance in his round five heat win at Cabarita today. The NSW South Coaster unleashed what was easily the best turn of the event so far, laying back into a wild snap, but he stayed in control and was able to rattle off another four solid turns down the line, netting a 9.25 for his efforts. He then backed that up with a 9.35 to amass the highest two-wave heat total of the event thus far.
“It’s just about as good as a beach break gets out there,” Watson said. “These are perfect conditions for an event. It’s pretty crazy that we were here last year and it was really hot and the surf was small and mushy, and now it’s cold but the surf is pumping. There’s always a bit of pressure being reigning champion, but I just want to go out and surf and get some good waves.”
Tweed Heads’ Kobie Enright and the Gold Coast’s Ellie Brooks both advanced into the Quarterfinals after securing first and second in their round five bout at the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro this morning. Brooks scored a 7.00 and a 5.10 as her only two waves, but it was enough to see her take 2nd position. Brooks will take on Elizabeth Stokely when competition resumes tomorrow.
“I wasn’t sure if moving from Kingscliff was a great idea because we had great waves over there,” Brooks said. “But after that heat, I can say it was the right call. It’s pumping out there. Although I am getting tired of that sweep, I feel like an Ironman because I keep having to run up the beach. I’m excited for tomorrow, can’t wait to get out there again for my Quarterfinal.”
Sophie McCulloch notched an impressive round four heat win to book a quarterfinal berth against Victoria’s India Robinson. McCulloch surfed with speed and power, catching both lefts and rights, finishing the heat with two 8-point-rides in her tally.
“That’s probably the best waves I’ve had in a contest,” McCulloch said. “It was so much fun out there. I wish I had more time in the water. It felt really nice to get a couple of eight-point-rides. It’s good for my confidence going into the Quarters, but you need to keep improving with every heat, so hopefully I can get some 9s in the next one.”
Chris Zaffis locked in an 8.50 for a combination of solid snaps and carves as he claimed an easy heat win and chance to surf on Final’s day. The up-and-coming Australian will be one to watch on tomorrow as he’s won a QS1,000 in pumping surf in past.
“I was nervous about how good it was, my legs were shaking because I didn’t want to blow any waves,” Zaffis said. “It’s so glassy it was hard to make out the contours of the wave, it’s a pretty good problem to have. It’s a beach break, but it feels like a point, I was getting four or five turns on every wave. I’m so stoked to make it to finals day and I hope conditions are like this again tomorrow.”
Jackson Baker nailed two near-perfect 9-point-plus-rides today, attacking sections with power and unloading explosive turns seemly with ease. Baker is looking for a big result to start the year with a roll as he aims to climb up the QS rankings.
“Two heats and two 9-point-rides in pumping surf – it’s been a good day,” Baker said. “I didn’t have any expectations today, I knew the waves were good, but I didn’t want to over think it – so I said I might drive home this afternoon. I guess I’m not driving home now, but maybe I should try that strategy before every heat.”
The Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro will run from January 31 – February 4 and will be broadcast live on the 3rd and 4th at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App. Head there for more information, highlights and images.
Event dates and locations:
Event One: Carve Pro
Location: Maroubra Beach
Date: January 18th – 21st, 2018
Event Two: Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro
Location: Cabarita Beach
Date: January 31st – February 4th, 2018
Event Three: Vissla Great Lakes Pro pres by D’Blanc
Location: Boomerang Beach
Date: February 7th – 11th, 2018
Event Four: Vissla Central Coast Pro pres by Slimes
Location: Avoca Beach
Date: March 7th – 11th, 2018
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian and International surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The series also creates a NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
The 2018 NSW Pro Surf Series will be proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Randwick City Council, Central Coast Council, Destination Tweed, Mid Coast Council and Tourism, NBN, Toyota, Coastalwatch, World Surf League and Surfing NSW.