• April 16, 2024 12:01 PM

The Sunshine Coast contingent all progressed through to the next rounds of surfing yesterday, stamping a mark on the Manly Beach break.

Kai Hing (AUS)    © surflove.com.au
Kai Hing (AUS)
© surflove.com.au

First heat of the morning saw Kai Hing , Hurley Australian Open of Surfing event wildcard score a epic last minute wave that clocked in at 7.83 out of a possible 10 to jump from 4th to 2nd place and advance into the next round. 16-year-old Hing will now take on Luel Felipe (BRA), Billy Stairmand (NZL) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) when competition resumes.

Sophie McCulloch surfed in the last heat of the day, putting Bethany Hamilton on the ropes requiring an 8 point ride, however Sophie held on and was the eventual winner..

Mitch Coleborn progressed easily into Round 3 , and Dimity Stoyle and Keely Andrew will surf together in Heat 6, Round 3, and Sophie into Heat 11 up against Malia Manuel and Sage Erickson.

In small testing conditions at Manly,Adriano De Souza (Brazil) won the opening heat of the morning at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing today, with fast and hard power surfing. De Souza is fresh from a great start to his competitive season, finishing 4th at the ASP 5-Star at Pipeline in Hawaii, where the big surf is a stark contrast to today’s tiny conditions.

“It’s great coming from Hawaii to Manly, to be a professional surfer you have to be able to surf in all conditions,” De Souza said. “Summer here in Australia usually has smaller surf than in winter, but it’s good to be here and get used to the smaller waves after three months in Hawaii. Snapper is right around the corner, and I’m doing the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing and Newcastle to get loose and ready for it.”

Conner Coffin (Santa Barbra, CA/USA) and his Californian counterpart Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA/USA) won through Heat 18 of Round 2 in 1st and 2nd position. Coffin got off to an early lead, while Reynolds snuck into 2nd in the last five minutes of the heat.

“I’ve had a couple heats with Dane (Reynolds) in the past and it’s always rad,” Coffin said. “For some reason the waves are always like this, I feel like we’re always having these weird small wave heats. I’m super stoked to get through that one. It was anyone’s game out there. The game plan was to go out and ride the waves that break, because there wasn’t many of them. I think I only caught two waves and they happened to be good ones.”

Reynolds’ appearance at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing has attracted a lot of interest from surf fans, media and his fellow competitors. All eyes were on him today to see how he’d handle the tough conditions and he did what he does best, made the most of every section on offer, throwing the tail and carving all the way into the next round.

“It’s cool to get through with Conner, (Coffin) I surf a lot with him at home,” Reynolds said. “The surf was really weak and tough, but everybody has got to surf the same stuff and you just have to make the most of it. I was watching and it looked like the lefts were a bit better, so that’s what I was looking for. Then I went out and got two rights at the start, so it was hard to have a plan.”

Mitch Crews (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS), 2014 ASP World Championship Tour rookie was on point at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing today, powering his way through the small surf and unloading powerful and progressive turns, winning the heat ahead of Hiroto Arai (JPN), Frederico Morais (PRT) and Takumi Nakamura (JPN) who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

“The forecast looks like there will be better waves later in the week – so I really wanted to get through that heat,” Crews said. “I’ve been surfing as much as I can and I’ve been training hard and I’m excited to see how I go this year.”

Ella Williams (NZL) scored an exciting come-from-behind victory in her Round 2 heat at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing today, jumping from 4th to 1st in the dying stages of her heat. Ella picked off a couple of the longest waves of the heat and carved her way all the way to the shore.

“I’ve been watching all day it looked hard, but I managed to find a few runners,” Williams said. “This event is important for me for this year and I’d really love to progress through a few more rounds and get a good result.”

Competition will resume this morning .

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