|Waida and Rodrigues Raise the Bar in Heat of the Event
Rio Waida (IDN) and Michael Rodrigues (BRA) have been standouts all week at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, both posting some of the highest scores of the event and both displaying incredible power, finesse and progression in their surfing. The pair looked destined for Finals Day until they matched up with each other in the Round of 16. In the best conditions of the day, Rodrigues got the ball rolling, posting an 8.17 on his opening wave, then backing it up with a 9.50 shortly after. With his back firmly against the wall, Waida needed something special if he was going to lock in a Quarterfinal berth here in Manly, and special is what he got, posting a 9.00 and an 8.80 on back-to-back rides, to take the lead and the heat win. Both surfer’s set a massive standard of backhand surfing, both going upside down in the critical section to post the top two heat totals of the event so far, in the same heat, with the Indonesian getting the nod.
“I’m really happy to win through to the Quarterfinals,” Waida said. “When I saw the waves this morning, really clean and well shaped, I was confident I can win because I know I can score well in good waves. I’ll rest now and cheer on my fellow Indonesian Ketut Agus who surfs later today and I’ll be ready for finals day tomorrow.”
Continuing the trend set by Waida and Rodrigues in the heat prior, North Narrabeen local Jordy Lawler (AUS) and San Clemente’s Jett Schilling (USA) put on an incredible back and forth battle in their Round of 16 clash this morning. As Manly continued to dish-up incredible conditions, both surfers took to the air, each posting excellent single wave scores to ensure the battle would go down to the wire. Although Lawler landed one of the biggest aerials of the event, he fell short of raking the win, meaning he will need to wait another year before he can look for another win here at Manly. Schilling on the other hand has progressed into the Quarterfinals where he will take on good friend and fellow San Clementeian Kade Matson (USA), who is also assured a career best result here at Manly.
“I knew that would be a high scoring heat and that’s how it played out – Jordy is a great surfer,” Schilling said. “The waves are really good and hopefully for tomorrow’s finals day we get it this good again. This is definitely my best result so I’m stoked right now. I just want to keep it going.”