- Sally Fitzgibbons Finds Near Perfection at North Narrabeen
- Californian Up-and-Comers Shine in Sydney
- Championship Tour Hopefuls Step Up on Day 3
- Bonsoy Surf Legends Heat Takes Over North Narrabeen
|Pictured: Crosby Colapinto (USA) on one of the waves of the day on Day 3 of the GWM Sydney Surf Pro Presented by Bonsoy. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar
|NORTH NARRABEEN, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (Friday, May 19, 2023) – North Narrabeen has turned on pumping surf for Day 3 of the GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Bonsoy, Stop No.2 of the 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series. With offshore winds and swell coming from a southerly direction, competitors opted to sit on a sandbank known as ‘Carpark Rights’ which offered up grinding right-hand tubes for the completion of the men’s Round of 64 and women’s Round of 32.
|Sally Fitzgibbons Finds Near Perfection at North Narrabeen
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) has continued to assert her authority on the 2023 Challenger Series, today posting the highest heat total of the GWM Sydney Surf Pro so far. Fitzgibbons found a deep, hollow tube, pulling in from behind the peak before coming out and smashing two massive turns to earn a near-perfect 9.70 (out of a possible 10). The perennial World Title threat then backed it up with a mid-range score for a heat total of 16.57 (out of a possible 20).
“I was so stoked with that one,” Fitzgibbons said. “We go out there in these heats and hope for a perfect performance and to find the best waves possible. There were so many good-looking waves everywhere but not in the same spot so it was a bit of a treasure hunt out there; I ended up finding some treasure. It felt good to get that one and come out of it and get that feeling. This is a really fun time in my career and I’m enjoying the different experiences and challenges especially when you throw in waves like we have today.”
Fitzgibbons’ compatriot Sophie McCulloch (AUS) also found near perfection at North Narrabeen, posting a 9.43 for a long, critical tube ride. Like Ftizgibbons, McCulloch missed the Mid-Season Cut last month and is in search of a Top 5 finish on the 2023 Challenger Series.
|Californian Up-and-Comers Shine in Sydney
Despite the disappointment of veteran competitors Nat Young (USA) and Kolohe Andino (USA) losing their Round of 64 heats, the signs for Californian surfing were positive as a group of the younger guard shone in Sydney today.
Fresh off missing the Mid-Season Cut, Jake Marshall (USA) found serious form in the Round of 64, posting one of the highest two-wave totals of the event with a 15.10. Marshall’s critical approach was enough to just edge out San Clemente’s Kade Matson (USA) who progressed in the second spot with an impressive total of 14.87.
“That was a stressful heat to surf,” Marshall said. “Everyone was surfing so well and dropping solid scores from the get-go so it was super stressful. I’m just stoked I was able to get some decent waves and post some solid scores. I didn’t have a great event at Snapper and have had a really frustrating year so that heat win meant a lot. To just be able to keep my composure and get that score at the end when I needed it is great for my confidence.”
Crosby Colapinto (USA) hopes to back up his third-place finish on the Gold Coast with another big result here in Sydney. Colapinto found a couple of draining, right-hand tubes to earn a solid score and progress into the Round of 32 in second place behind an in-form Jacob Willcox (AUS). Willcox looked at home in the heavy barreling conditions as he also looks to continue his run of form in 2023.
The last heat of the men’s Round of 64 witnessed an epic back-and-forth battle between Taj Lindblad (USA) and Kalani Ball (AUS) who traded tubes and turns to both progress into the Round of 32. Ball looked in control for the majority of the heat until Lindblad found a long-running barrel that he came out of and smashed a solid closeout turn. Lindblad earned the heat win with a two-wave total of 15.23 which included an excellent 8.60 single-ride score.
“I’m fired up and the waves are firing so it’s just fun to surf,” Lindblad said. “I’ve had a few good warmups and feel really ready. I found out I was in the draw a week ago when I was at home watching my sister finish second on the Gold Coast. I packed my bags and now I’m here. I’m stoked to make a few heats.”
Eithan Osborne (USA) and Jett Schilling (USA) both progressed through their Round of 64 heat with mid-range scores and looked in good touch with the heavy surf at North Narrabeen.
North Narrabeen continued to pump as the women’s Round of 32 hit the water and San Diego’s Alyssa Spencer (USA) revelled, committing to closeout turns on her backhand and tube rides on her frontside to progress into the Round of 16. Spencer won the heat with a total of 13.10, progressing with fellow San Diegan Ella McCaffray (USA).
|Championship Tour Hopefuls Step Up on Day 3
Competitive veteran Jadson Andre (BRA) showed his experience on Day 3 of competition, finding a long technical tube ride and riding out of a number of critical turns to find a spot in the Round of 32. Andre’s performance gave him a comfortable win over Kiwi competitor Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) who progressed in second place.
“I had last priority when I got that barrel,” Andre said. “I was so deep and I didn’t think I would be able to make it but I’m glad I took the chance because once I got that score it took all the pressure off. It’s pumping out there. If you get the right one you can get a good tube.”
Another former CT competitor who found a long technical tube ride to post a solid score was Morgan Cibilic (AUS) who earned a 9.00-point ride on his way to winning his heat. Cibilic’s compatriot Jacob Willcox (AUS) also posted some decent scores on his way to the Round of 32, showing his skill and finesse in chunky backhand barrels.
“It doesn’t feel like I had a good heat because I felt a bit lost but there are diamonds in the rough out there for sure,” Cibilic said. “I’m just lucky I found that one and was able to thread it. It definitely felt good to come out of it.”
The Portuguese contingent had a successful day at North Narrabeen with Yolanda Hopkins (POR), Teresa Bonvalot (POR), Carolina Mendes (POR) and Francisca Veselko (POR) all making it into the Round of 16. On the men’s side, Frederico Morais (POR) kept the trend going, progressing into the Round of 16 with a great performance in the opening heat of the Round of 32.
| Bonsoy Surf Legends Heat Takes Over North Narrabeen
The last heat of the day saw some of Sydney’s and the Northern Beaches surfing icons, hit the lineup and put on a show for the Friday afternoon crowds. 2x World Champions Damian Hardman (AUS) and Tom Carroll (AUS) were joined by 1993 World Champion Pauline Menczer (AUS) as well as former CT competitors Laura Enever (AUS), Rob Bain (AUS) and Nathan Hedge (AUS).
For highlights from today’s GWM Sydney Surf Pro Presented by Bonsoy competition, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The WSL Tours and Competition team will reconvene tomorrow, Saturday, May 20, at 6:45 a.m. AEST to make a call on competition getting back underway for a possible 7:05 a.m. AEST start.
|GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men’s Round of 64 Results (Heats 9-16):
HEAT 9: Justin Becret (FRA) 13.83 DEF. Joel Vaughan (AUS) 12.50, Nat Young (USA) 11.44, Kian Martin (SWE) 8.50
HEAT 10: Jett Schilling (USA) 11.73 DEF. Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.50, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.24, Teva Bouchgua (MAR) 9.66
HEAT 11: Jake Marshall (USA) 15.10 DEF. Kade Matson (USA) 14.87, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 12.50, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.10
HEAT 12: Marco Mignot (FRA) 12.90 DEF. Mihimana Braye (FRA) 10.70, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.57, Kai Martin (HAW) 7.37
HEAT 13: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.33 DEF. Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 11.93, Soli Bailey (AUS) 8.74, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 3.27
HEAT 14: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.60 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 13.40, Alister Reginato (AUS) 10.93, Jarvis Earle (AUS) 7.60
HEAT 15: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 12.87, Brodi Sale (HAW) 11.73, Oney Anwar (INA) 6.60
HEAT 16: Taj Lindblad (USA) 15.23 DEF. Kalani Ball (AUS) 14.57, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.24, Jackson Bunch (HAW) 12.44
GWM Sydney Surf Pro Women’s Round of 32 Results:
HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.57 DEF. Zahli Kelly (AUS) 14.23, Zoe McDougall (HAW) 10.57, Leilani McGonagle (CRC) 9.83
HEAT 2: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 13.10 DEF. Ella McCaffray (USA) 11.06, Alysse Cooper (AUS) 7.73, Vahine Fierro (FRA) 6.60
HEAT 3: Carolina Mendes (POR) 13.80 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.67, Sarah Baum (RSA) 7.70, Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 6.07
HEAT 4: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 14.93 DEF. Bella Kenworthy (USA) 11.10, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 8.20, Ellie Harrison (AUS) 4.87
HEAT 5: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.33 DEF. Francisca Veselko (POR) 6.86, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 6.20, Tessa Thyssen (FRA) 1.87
HEAT 6: Teresa Bonvalot (POR) 13.57 DEF. Kobie Enright (AUS) 12.87, Luana Silva (BRA) 12.80, Sophia Medina (BRA) 10.06
HEAT 7: Yolanda Hopkins (POR) 10.90 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.10, Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 8.50, Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) 5.50
HEAT 8: India Robinson (AUS) 14.33 DEF. Erin Brooks (CAN) 12.33, Pauline Ado (FRA) 4.54, Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 3.26GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men’s Round of 32 Results (Heats 1-2):
HEAT 1: Mikey McDonagh (AUS) 12.87 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.76, George Pittar (AUS) 8.23, Adur Amatriain (EUK) 7.33
HEAT 2: Dylan Moffat (AUS) 11.74 DEF. Luke Thompson (RSA) 10.40, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.70, Michael Dunphy (USA) 9.30GWM Sydney Surf Pro Men’s Round of 32 Matchups (Heats 3-8):
HEAT 3: Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Cole Houshmand (USA) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA) vs. Adin Masencamp (RSA)
HEAT 4: Miguel Tudela (PER) vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW) vs. Lucas Silveira (BRA)
HEAT 5: Justin Becret (FRA) vs. Jett Schilling (USA) vs. Kade Matson (USA) vs. Mihimana Braye (FRA)
HEAT 6: Joel Vaughan (AUS) vs. Eithan Osborne (USA) vs. Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA)
HEAT 7: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Kalani Ball (AUS)
HEAT 8: Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA) vs. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Taj Lindblad (USA)GWM Sydney Surf Pro Women’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Ella McCaffray (USA)
HEAT 2: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Zahli Kelly (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carolina Mendes (POR) vs. Bella Kenworthy (USA)
HEAT 4: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
HEAT 5: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Kobie Enright (AUS)
HEAT 6: Teresa Bonvalot (POR) vs. Francisca Veselko (POR)
HEAT 7: Yolanda Hopkins (POR) vs. Erin Brooks (CAN)
HEAT 8: India Robinson (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
EARLIER UPDATES BELOW
- DAY 3 Men’s Round of 64 & Women’s Round of 32 Called ON at GWM Sydney Surf Pro
- Men’s Round of 64 Heats 9-16 Starts at 7:05 a.m. Friday AEST (11am Thursday HI time)
- Women’s Round of 32 to Follow
- Men’s Round of 32 Heats 1-2 on Standby
- Northern Beaches Legends to Compete in Bonsoy Heritage Heat
- Watch LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com