March 20 - 26, 2022: Issue 531
Vissla & Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro 2022 + Central Coast Pro Junior
CT Surfers Past And Present Light Up Day 1 At Avoca Beach
Monday March 14, 2022
It was a spicy start to the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex with local heroes and first-time challengers coming together in a high-stakes third event of the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series has kicked off at Avoca Beach.
The elite field of over 150 surfers from across Australia and New Zealand continued their run of good form on the opening day of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event. The surfers are looking to increase their WSL Australia / Oceania Regional rankings in a quest to qualify for the Challenger Series (CS) and then Championship Tour (CT).
Competition was strong on day one as surfers looked to generate momentum and flow in rippable two-to-four feet surf at Avoca Beach. Today's action saw the completion of the opening round of the Men's division whilst Heats 1-8 were run in the first round of the Women’s draw.
Current Championship Tour surfer Molly Picklum wasted no time in getting her Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro campaign off to a strong start, blitzing her first round heat with two solid scores and applause from the beach. In 2021 the Central Coast surfer took out three of the four events in the NSW Pro Surf Series and attributes her qualification to the World Tour to consistency in these QS events.
Picklum is looking to defend her title here at Avoca and generate form in Australia before her debut at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Championship Tour event in just under a month.
“It’s so great to be back home here at Avoca and surf in some really fun waves at my local break,” Picklum said. “Anytime we can get a left hand rip bowl for an event is absolutely awesome as I love surfing my backhand and where better than in a lineup that I’ve spent so much time.
“It’s amazing to come back here for the event after enjoying the last few Championship Tour events and it’s such a great way to reconnect with the community whilst surfing against some top talent from all across Australia and New Zealand. I’m looking forward to the rest of the event and will be cheering on Micro (Glenn Hall) and the rest of the crew in the competition,” she said.
Picklum will look to continue her winning ways in round two of the event which is set to feature tomorrow against former Championship Tour wildcard Kobie Enright (Snapper Rocks), C A R V E Great Lakes Pro runner-up Bodhi Leigh-Jones and Sunshine Coast talent Holly Williams.
Molly Picklum, Day 1. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Leaving it right until the dying stages in her first round matchup, former Championship Tour campaigner Dimity Stoyle was able to throw everything at her last wave to secure the biggest score of the day being an 8.90 which saw her take home a win in her return to the Avoca event.
Stoyle chipped away with mid range scores through the duration of the heat and looked in a position to advance from the outset , however she was able to show her extensive heat experience and put the icing on the cakes with a clinical ride right as the buzzer sounded.
“I’m stoked that I got that last major score and could take home a win in what was a bit of a slow heat,” Stoyle said.
“It’s great to be making heats again and going left which I don’t do much of living up on the Goldy. It’s probably the first time I feel like I’ve been left since Avoca last year so I’m pumped that I could get that excellent score on my backhand. Hopefully I can continue to make some heats and set myself up for a position at Snapper Rocks in the first Challenger Series event in May,” she said.
Dimity surfed against Avalon Beach local Bodhi Leigh-Jones in her Round 1 heat. Bodhi, who scored a 7.17 for one of her waves, also progresses to Round 2.
Dimity Stoyle, Day 1. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Also showing off her status as a former top 16 surfer in the world, Paige Hareb was able to lock in a high 7.83 score at the start of her Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro campaign to give herself a heat win and hold off a rampaging field who were hot on her heels.
“It feels so good to get some higher-range scores in my first heat here at Avoca and get my confidence up in this QS 3000 event,” Hareb said. I’m searching for a strong result here at Avoca in the hope of getting back onto the Challenger Series and this is a good start to that goal. The lineup was tricky to negotiate but I was grateful that I got a couple of bigger turns in on that early wave to lock away that strong score,” she said.
In the Men’s field it was action aplenty as surfers put forward classy performances to book themselves a spot in the second round.
Showing off his credentials as a former CT surfer, Central Coast local Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall was able to surf his way through his round one heat and gain a spot through to the next round.
Hall looked poised from the opening of the heat as he started off with two mid-range scores to put the scoreboard pressure on early. However it was two rising stars of the sport in Saxon Reber and Hugh Vaughan who were able to put up a strong fight in a back and forth heat against the Umina veteran.
Glenn Hall, Day 1. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
In an entertaining heat it was the North Steyne local in Reber who was able to tuck away two strong numbers at the backend of the heat to leapfrog Hall and put him in second when time elapsed. Both surfers will move on through to tomorrow’s action at Avoca Beach.
“It was really cool to put the jersey back on again and experience all those competitive nerves that are associated with it,” Hall said.
“It’s great to feel those emotions again from a coaching perspective as it definitely helps you improve in that aspect so you can give that experience to your athletes to assist with their development. We’ve got such an amazing group of young and up and coming surfers down here in the Central Coast and it’s awesome to see them all down here at Avoca all vying for a win. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the event down here and watching all the young crew rip”.
Saxon Reber, Day 1. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Gold Coast surfer Micah Margieson (Kindscliff) was another surfer who looked right at home out in the Avoca line-up, posting one of the better single wave scores of the day with an array of critical maneuvers.
The natural footer was able to post his 7.17 point score early in his round one heat to leave his fellow competitors trailing and needing a large score to move in front. Margieson found a strong backup to put the requirement out of reach when time elapsed.
“It’s great to get the ball rolling down here in Avoca with a heat win in some great waves,” Margieson said.
“I am feeling refreshed after the small break in between events and absolutely love coming to this beautiful wave rich area. As we get towards these bigger events it’s really exciting to be making heats and I’m hoping to continue to do so and would love to hoist up that trophy at the end of this event”.
North Narrabeen surfer Jamie Thomson was able to put forward a strong performance to give himself a Round 1 win and earn a spot on day two of the event.
Thomson led from the outset of the heat and controlled the outset with some fiery forehand surfing which will hold him in good stead for the rest of the event.
“I’m stoked to be through the first round down here at Avoca after a couple of results that I was disappointed with at the first two stops of the series at Boomerang and Birubi,” Thomson said.
“I knew if I surfed a smart heat and targeted the long running right handers when I had priority it would hold me in a good position for the rest of the heat. It’s nice to generate some momentum and I’m looking forward to surfing some more fun waves over the course of the week”.
Surfers to also progress through to the second round included yesterday’s Lake Mac Pro Junior winner Marlon Harrison (Snapper Rocks), Xavier Huxtable (Torquay), Nathan Hedge (North Narrabeen) and Brett Burcher (Ulladulla).
Nathan Hedge, Day 1. Photos by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
*The QS runs from February through to May in 2022 and determines qualification into the Challenger Series (CS), which has eight events that run from May through to December 2022. Each regional tour has an allocation of nine men and seven women plus a regional wildcard for each that can qualify for the Challenger Series.
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed to support Australian and International surfers in gaining ranking points and prize money on the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series. Additionally, the month-long series provides an opportunity for surfers and visitors alike to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and everything the NSW coast has to offer.
All events will be webcast through Kayo Sports and worldsurfleague.com and the WSL App and Kayo Sports. All event news, images and highlight clips will be available at nswprosurfseries.com
2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule
- EVENT 1: C A R V E Great Lakes Pro - February 22nd - 25th WSL QS1000
- EVENT 2: Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro - 27th - 1st March WSL QS1000
- EVENT 3: Mad Mex Maroubra Pro POSTPONED WSL QS1000
- EVENT 4 Men: Vissla Central Coast Pro - WSL QS3000 14th - 19th March
- EVENT 4 Women: Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro - WSL QS3000 14th - 19th March
The 2022 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The series will also be proudly supported by Avoca Beach Hotel, Central Coast Council, World Surf League, Kayo Sports, Volkswagen, Mad Mex, Destination NSW, Surfing NSW and Vissla.
About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world's best surfing. A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world's largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com.
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
North Narrabeen/Collaroy's Jesse Starling, Day 1. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Gisborne, New Zealand shredder Saffi Vette, Day 1. Photos by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
PRO JUNIOR EVENT TO JOIN CENTRAL COAST PRO
Returning to the Central Coast in 2022 will be the WSL Pro Junior event that will see Australia’s best surfers 20 years and under vying for a spot at this year’s World Junior Championships. The pro junior component of the event will run from March 17 – 19 in conjunction with the QS3,000.
The Central Coast Pro Junior gives the local community the chance to see future WCT surfers and potential World Champions before they hit the world stage.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said he was proud to continue his support of Surfing NSW and the WSL with the delivery of a pro event in the region.
“The Central Coast is the perfect location for this event and I look forward to seeing our beaches and incredible local Central Coast talent featured on the world stage once again.
“Having hundreds of competitors and spectators descend on Avoca Beach not only showcases our beautiful region to the world but injects significant tourism dollars into local businesses, accommodation providers, restaurants and retail,” Mr Crouch said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Events Acceleration Fund is supporting the growth of existing regional events and attracting new major domestic and international events to regional NSW.
“Since its inception, the Regional Events Acceleration Fund has supported the delivery and development of 85 events, estimated to result in over 1.1 million visitors travelling to the regional areas where these events are held.”
Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden says support from NSW Regional for a fourth Pro Junior event in the Central Coast would help boost the junior surfing pathway but also bring hundreds of people to the region.
“It’s really exciting that the rising stars of our sport now have the chance to compete in a Pro Junior event on the Central Coast. It will complete the NSW road trip-style series that’s the launch pad for Australia’s best junior athletes to become confident in an elite competition format. It gives them the experience they need to do well in the WSL QS and many World Champions won these events on their path to the top,” said Madden.
Surfers Dig Deep On Day 2 Of Action At Vissla And Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro QS3,000
Tuesday March 15, 2022
It's been a challenging day at the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event with a tough east-southeast swell and onshore breeze at Avoca Beach.
The remainder of Women’s Round 1 and Men’s Round 2 were completed in three-to-four foot swell on the NSW Central Coast. The event continues to put Australia and New Zealand’s best surfers right in the limelight as they battle for a spot on the 2022 WSL Challenger Series.
Women’s action kicked off the day’s proceedings. They had to pull out their power surfing to raise scores in a mish-mash of waves and whitewater. There was heartbreak in the opening round for some who had high hopes of increasing their QS rankings.
These conditions showed the strength of the veterans. Putting on a clinic in her first round heat, former Championship Tour (CT) surfer Macy Callaghan (North Shelly) showed her extensive experience in the Avoca lineup to put forward two big scores in the opening seven minutes with an excellent range score 8.17 from a left hand wave. After falling off the CT last year, Callaghan looks lively and ready to contend again for a spot against the world’s best.
“I’m stoked that I could find a couple of good waves. It was tricky but fun out there, this is what the QS events are all about,” Callaghan said. “Events like today are such a good showcase of female surfing and an important stepping stone for many to try and make it onto the Challenger Series (CS) and then the Championship Tour. I’m really hoping to qualify for the Snapper Rocks Challenger event and then keep that momentum rolling to try and get back onto the top tour”.
Macy Callaghan, Day 2. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Callaghan will now meet in form surfers Ellie Brooks (Gold Coast), Freya Prumm (Merimbula) and Shyla Short (Illawarra) in the second round of the Women’s draw which is set to feature tomorrow.
Another standout from the female draw was Queenslander Jahly Stokes who used her elite forehand rail game to get a first round heat win. Her performance putting her board on rail created big backhand manoeuvres which held her in a good position to take the heat out. Stokes who is a Sisstrevolution athlete is in only in her second QS event, however looked like a competitive veteran out in the Avoca lineup with her strong surfing and smart wave selection.
“It’s great to be through a tough heat down here at Avoca against some amazing female talent,” Stokes said. “To be in my second QS event is a great experience in itself and with the support of my major sponsor Sisstrevolution I really wanted to try and do well in this event and get as much experience out of it as possible. I can’t wait for the rest of the event.”
Other surfers to advance through to Wednesday’s action included Port Stephens local Jasmine Sampson, Gold Coast pair Alyssa Lock and Ellie Brooks and Victorian dynamo Sage Goldsbury.
The top seeds in the Men’s field hit the water for the first time on Day 2 of action and they sure did not disappoint with major scores posted throughout the entirety of the round in bowly afternoon conditions.
McMasters Beach local Logan Steinwede was one of the surfers to keep his run of form going with a classy performance. The Central Coast surfer looked right at home out in the Avoca line-up having spent plenty of time here in competitions as a junior. Steinwede was rewarded for his prowess as he secured a 7.27 in the dying stages to clinch the heat win and push Byron Bay dynamo Kyuss King into second.
“It’s the best feeling in the world to be back competing at home and seeing all of Australia and New Zealand’s best surfers put on a show,” Steinweide said. “The community spirit down here is huge and I’m stoked that I’ve got a great support crew with me on the beach. I’m hoping to make a couple more heats and inch closer to that dream of qualifying for the CS events set to start in May.”
In one of the biggest matchups of the day we saw super coach Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall take on former CT wildcard Reef Heazlewood, Vissla Central Coast Pro event wildcard Koda Killorn (Maroubra) and QS mainstay Max Kearney (Gold Coast).
All four surfers went wave for wave throughout the entirety of the heat. It was the elite backhand surfing of Heazlewood that saw him come out victorious. The Sunshine Coast surfer will look to keep the ball rolling as he creeps closer to trying to lock in a spot back on the top tier tour.
“I absolutely love coming to Avoca and have enjoyed a range of successes and good waves over the years,” Heazlewood said. “The waves today have been challenging but also really rewarding if you can manage to get into one of the long running right handers. Luckily enough I was able to find two of those more bowly waves and lock in some scores that will give me some confidence going into the next few days of the event”.
In an entertaining matchup North Steyne surfer George Pittar didn’t put a foot wrong as he took out his second round heat with a near excellent 8.33 point ride that also created roar of support from the beach. The natural footer showcased his damaging forehand as he rolled into one of the cleaner waves of the day and got to work with a huge variety of manoeuvres. Towards the backend of the heat, Pittar found a solid backup wave putting his competitors behind the eight ball when time elapsed.
“It’s great to find a couple of solid waves out there in some tricky and ever changing conditions,” Pittar said. “It’s such a cool experience to be in these QS3,000 events against all the top guys. There’s never any easy heats and you’ve got to surf your absolute best to get through. I’m stoked to keep moving through the event and can’t wait for the rest of the experience of being here in this epic part of Australia”.
Surfers to also progress through to the third round included Gold Coast pair Jagger Bartholemew (Gold Coast) and Marlon Harrison (Gold Coast), Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) and ex Championship Tour surfer and reigning event champion Matt Banting (Port Macquarie) and Stu Kennedy (Lennox Head).
Jagger Bartholomew. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Anne Dos Santos. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Jamie Thomson. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Surfers Shine On Day 3 At Vissla And Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro
Wednesday March 16, 2022
Pro surfers were pleasantly surprised with cleaner conditions and a solid swell this morning ahead of a short but sweet day of action at the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event.
The third day of competition saw the event draw closer to the pointy end in clean and oily three-to-four foot surf at The Pines, Avoca Beach. The third round of the Men’s draw was completed whilst the second round of Women’s action came to a close as surfers took advantage of the steeper waves in a bid to secure a spot in the Quarterfinals.
Continuing his run of form from yesterday, local Central Coast surfer Ryan Slattery was able to show off his powerful rail game in the clean conditions. Slattery knocked out established company in Sunshine Coast pair Championship Tour (CT) wildcard Reef Heazlewood and current Australia / Oceania Regional rankings number six Alister Reginato.
Slattery kept his momentum rolling through today’s proceedings, putting on a stellar performance in the third round to book a spot in the Round of 16. The Toukley surfer is competing in his first event of the year at the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series however didn’t look like he was lacking any sense of heat inexperience as he set the water spraying with strong scores.
“It’s great to make heats just down the road from home at an amazing beach like Avoca,” Slattery said. “I’m only about 40 minutes up the road so to not have to travel too far and have the comfort and wave knowledge of a neighbouring area is really awesome. I’m looking forward to the next few days and hopefully I can continue to get some heat wins and chalk up some experience in my first event of the year.”
Ryan Slattery. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Another major beneficiary of the steep and opportunity rich conditions was George Pittar (North Steyne) who utilised his classy forehand attack to thrive in his third round heat posting the highest heat total of the round. Pittar continued his smart heat strategy only catching a small number of waves, however his best two made up a solid total that his fellow competitors couldn’t match.
“I’m stoked to keep my momentum rolling from yesterday and get a heat win in some fun conditions,” Pittar said. “To surf against these top tier talents is a great experience in itself and to continue to make heats in these pumping waves is something that I’m very excited about. It’s also very motivating to watch a lot of my fellow North Steyne competitors making heats in this event and that’s most definitely giving me an extra lift.”
Other surfers to progress into the Quarterfinals in the Men’s draw included Jacob Wilcox (Margaret River), Billy Stairmand (New Zealand) and Jordin Watson (Culburra Beach).
Hitting the water just before lunchtime, the Women’s second round did not disappoint with surfers locking away solid numbers to book themselves a spot in tomorrow’s action packed day. The top seeds in the draw flexed their superior surf skills and showed us why they’ve earned their stripes on the QS.
It was no surprise that Central Coast CT surfer Molly Picklum was front and center of the elite surfing, posting some major numbers to set herself up with a spot in the third round. Picklum was able to pick up where she left off from the first few days of action, posting an 8.00 point ride in her second round heat to give herself a big boost as we get towards the pointy end of the event. The Central Coast surfer bided her time in the lineup and was able to strike a range of critical manoeuvres on both her rides.
“I’m stoked to be through another heat down here at Avoca and surf against some of my best friends including Kobie Enright who I have been very close with for a long period of time,” Picklum said. “It’s such a funny experience surfing against ladies that you’ve been friends with forever and then trying to put the competition head on as you try not to get distracted. Hopefully I can make some more heats and continue to enjoy my time down here before the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event.”
Picklum will now meet former CT surfer Dimity Stoyle (Gold Coast), current Australia / Oceania Regional Rankings leader Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head) and up and coming star Gia Lorentson (Noosa) in the first heat of tomorrow’s action.
Ryan had her hands full in her second round matchup, however she was able to clinch a spot in the next round with a second place as Zahli Kelly (Tweed Coast) reigned supreme with powerful forehand surfing. She had the highest score of the heat being a 7.33 however, the classy natural footer in Kelly was able to net a strong two turn combination for a mid-range score at the end of the heat to give her a buffer. A multiple time QS winner, Kelly looks as hungry as ever to try and secure a spot on the Challenger Series and inch closer to a CT debut which she has been so close to securing on numerous occasions.
“The conditions are really fun out here today at the pines beach break at Avoca and I’m grateful that I was able to nail a couple of waves at the end and get a heat win,” Kelly said. “I’ve got a really strong support crew behind me throughout these NSW Pro Surf Series events and I’m hoping I can do them proud and try and achieve my event goal while they endure the clean up from the floods all along the east coast.”
Notably, Sophie McCulloch (Sunshine Coast), Paige Hareb (New Zealand) and Macy Callaghan (North Shelley) were also able to book their spot in the Round of 16.
Sage Goldsbury. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Avoca Beach Delivers Big Breaks, Upsets And The Best Pro Junior Athletes
Thursday March 17, 2022
Quarterfinalists have been decided on a marathon day of professional surfing at Avoca Beach as we inch closer to crowning our event champions at the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualification Series (QS) 3,000 event.
The finals are fast approaching and Thursday dished up clean two-to-three foot waves at The Pines at Avoca Beach with the Round of 16 taking place in both fields. The first round of the Central Coast Pro Junior supported by Regional NSW was also run in picturesque Central Coast conditions.
Kicking off the morning was the Women’s Round of 16 with big names in and out of the draw. Only the top two surfers in each heat move through to the Quarterfinals tomorrow and Back-to-back event winner Nyxie Ryan was one of the first casualties of the morning.
In the battle for a spot in the Quarterfinals it was a stacked heat with Championship Tour (CT) surfer Molly Picklum, former dream tour warrior in Dimity Stoyle (Gold Coast), current Australia / Oceania Regional Rankings leader Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head) and young sensation Gia Lorentson (Noosa).
It was an intense heat from the outset with the lead changing on multiple occasions. Picklum found a few mid range scores early to put the pressure on the field, however Stoyle was able to fire back a shot of her own to keep Picklum accountable dropping a strong score of her own for some big forehand carving manoeuvres.
Stoyle and Picklum used their extensive competitive experience to surf smarter not harder, scoring maximum points on only a couple of waves where Ryan and Lorenston couldn’t find enough opportunities to move ahead.
“That was such a fun heat out there and once again Avoca is pumping and we’ve got beautiful weather and waves,” Stoyle said. “It’s so lucky when we can score awesome waves in an event because it truly shows how good everyone is surfing in the event. The tide was filling in fast this morning and I tried to adjust my tactics accordingly and luckily it was able to pay off”.
Dimity Stoyle. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
To continue the eventful morning, Sunshine Coast surfer Sophie McCulloch narrowly secured a heat win in another heat of top talent. McCulloch started strong however remained in second place till the dying stages. She used priority to her benefit and secured her best score on her backhand to get a win and keep her momentum rolling.
“It feels so good to get a win out here at Avoca and to book a spot in the Quarterfinals,” McCulloch said. “I’m really enjoying being back in the jersey at this event after not surfing since the Phillip Island QS 1,000 which I was lucky enough to take out down south in Victoria. I’m feeling refreshed and ready to try and continue some solid form here at Avoca.”
Other surfers to book their spot in the Friday Quarterfinals included Kobie Enright (Gold Coast) who will again matchup with her good friend Molly Picklum, Macy Callaghan (North Shelley) and Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads).
There wasn’t any pause in action as the Men’s draw with the excellent conditions continuing. Culburra surfer Jordin Watson scored one of the highest heat totals of the day in his Round 4 matchup. He utilised his competitive experience to wait for his turn in priority and capitalise posting a huge 7.23 awarded for a series of big backhand snaps.
“I’m feeling great and really confident in these lefts and hope I can keep this form going through the rest of the event,” Watson said. “I was definitely a bit edgy and nervous early on hearing all the guys getting good scores but I just tried to concentrate on what I could control and it paid off for me.”
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) also surfed a smart and composed heat that came down to the final two minutes where he moved from fourth into first with a huge 6.67. Ball used an array of backhand manoeuvres on a long running left hander to cause damage and move on through to finals action.
“I was feeling pretty nervous going into the back end of the heat but tried to stick to my guns and surf my last wave as best as I could to get that last score,” Ball said. “My strategy before the heat was to try and wait for the bigger sets and stay composed and luckily enough I was able to get going in the backend and secure that win with some of the tactics I had”.
Other surfers to advance through to the Quarterfinals included Te Kehukehu Butler (New Zealand), Jacob Wilcox (Margaret River) and current Australia / Oceania Regional rankings number two Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head) who will match up with fellow Lennox Head athlete Stu Kennedy.
Cooper Chapman. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Pro Juniors Prove Themselves On Opening Day
Women's and Men's Central Coast Pro Junior Results available here
The Central Coast Pro Junior supported by NSW Regional rounded out the day with surprise last minute entries from big names and amazing results. The sport’s up and coming stars are looking to boost their Junior Tour rankings in the second of three Australian events in an effort to secure a spot on the World Junior Championships, a path trodden by many World Champions and WCT surfers.
In the Women’s field, Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads) wasted no time in continuing her dominance at the Lake Macquarie Pro Junior with a first round heat. The Victorian pocket rocket was in control from the outset as she tucked away two good scores to hold her in good stead and give her a bunch of confidence as she moves through to the next round along with North Narrabeen’s Sydney Chevalier.
“It’s awesome to be through to the next round of the event in really fun waves,” Harrison said. “It’s great having so much support up here from my fellow Victorians who have really banded together and supported myself and the rest of the crew. Hopefully I can keep it going and win the event.”
One of the highlights of the Men’s field was the performance of Avalon Beach’s Arch Whiteman who used his silky forehand attack to nail some big scores for a Round of 32 heat win showing off his credentials as a rising star of the surfing fraternity.
Whiteman took on Jay Occhilupo (son of Mark Occhilupo ‘99 World Champion). The pair being second generation pro surfers would have brought flashbacks for some; in a twist of fate Whiteman (son of ‘90s Pro Junior Champion Dean Whiteman) and Occhilupo's dad’s both competed against each other as kids.
“I’m frothing that I was able to make that last heat in some amazing waves,” Whiteman said. “I felt like there was so many waves and opportunities out there for our turn in the lineup and I was stoked that I found a couple of good scoring waves including that 7.17.”
Surfers to also advance in the Pro Junior divisions included local CT surfer Molly Picklum (Avoca) who scored a whopping 15.67 total and Shyla Short (Illawarra) in the Women’s field whilst Oliver Ryssenbeek (Merewether) and Tom Whitpaine (Burleigh Heads) were other standouts in the Men’s field.
The 2022 Central Coast Pro Junior is proudly supported by Regional NSW.
Kalani Ball And Macy Callaghan Claim Victory At Vissla And Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro
Friday March 18, 2022
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park) and Macy Callaghan (North Shelley) have claimed massive wins at the Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event. After a huge week at Avoca Beach, The Pines delivered picturesque conditions for Finals Day with clean two-to-three foot waves to complete the event in style.
The Men’s final brought together two absolute powerhouses from the event in Stanwell Park surfer Kalani Ball and New Zealand’s veteran Qualifying Series surfer Billy Stairmand. Both surfers forged different paths to the finals and were certainly made to work for a finals berth by Jagger Bartholemew (Gold Coast) and Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head) who ripped their way into the Semifinals.
Ball was able to get the nod in his Semifinal matchup in a very high scoring affair, whilst Stairmand had to wait till the dying moments in a close heat to get a score that shot him into first place right on the buzzer.
The final was tight from the outset with Ball and Stairmand trading blows early in a close encounter. Ball was able to score a strong score in the middle part of the heat that was able to put the pressure on the New Zealand surfer. The Stanwell Park powerhouse was able to show off his elite and deep repertoire of manoeuvres in the dying stages he threw to the air with a huge reverse to put the result out of reach for Stairmand as time elapsed.
Ball now secures his first QS 3000 event win in his third event of the NSW Pro Surf Series and keeps his momentum swinging in the right direction after a Semifinal finish at Port Stephens in the Gage Roads Port Stephens Pro.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to get the win against such a great competitor like Billy,” Ball said. “The heat felt like it was going forever and I was constantly looking down at my watch feeling a bit nervous, but when time ran out I was in front and I’m absolutely stoked. I’ve had so many second and third place results so it’s just amazing to finally crack that win and continue to execute the game plan that worked for me all event”.
Finishing in second was Kiwi sensation Billy Stairmand who was gallant in defeat and did his country proud in an event where he certainly delivered plenty of entertainment.
Kalani Ball. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Billy Stairmand. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
The Women’s final saw two early standouts in Central Coast pair Molly Picklum (Avoca) and Macy Callaghan (North Shelley) use their Championship Tour (CT) experience to book a spot in the final. Picklum was able to secure her a finals berth with a close win over Sophie McColluch (Sunshine Coast) whilst Callaghan was able to put on a classy performance and eliminate Phillipa Anderson (Mereweather) in her Women’s Semifinal.
The waves once again turned on during the final as the Championship Tour experience of both ladies certainly shined bright in an exciting final as the cream of the crop in the Women’s field put on a show out at their home break in front of all of their family and friends.
Giving herself the perfect boost of confidence heading into a packed calendar of events, Macy Callaghan (North Shelley) was able to put on another clinical performance which reminded us of her extensive experience on the Championship Tour between 2017-2021.
Callaghan was able to fire two major shots in the final including a massive 8.83 where the natural footer was able to throw everything at a long left hander to secure a big score. The score put current CT surfer Molly Picklum behind the eight ball where she required an excellent score to overtake the North Shelley native. Picklum tried to go deep into her bag of tricks including throwing it to the air however it wasn’t enough to combat Callaghan who ended up victorious.
“I’m so pumped to finally get one up on Molly after she beat me in this event last year in what was an amazing event of really fun waves,” Callaghan said. “Women’s surfing is in such a great place at the moment and watching Molly go to the air and try and go deep into her bag of tricks was really cool as well. I found I was able to stick to my strengths with doing some solid surfing on the face which held me in good spot throughout this whole event. I was honoured to surf against Molly in the final at this event and can’t wait for the rest of the year”.
Finishing in second and generating plenty of momentum down here at her local break before her CT debut at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Molly Picklum will take some major learnings out of this event and move through to her next event with confidence.
QS Competitors will now set their sights on the Oakberry Tweed Heads Pro (QS5000) which is due to start on Monday 21st March 2022.
Macy Callaghan. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Molly Picklum. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Pro Juniors Day 2
In Pro Junior action, Men’s Round 2 was also completed with some huge performances from Australia’s best juniors as they booked a spot in the Quarterfinals.
Jarvis Earle (Cronulla) was able to get his claws out in his second round heat and advance through to the Quarterfinals with a big 14.50 heat total. Earle was on fire from the outset as he posted an 8.00 ride early in the matchup to put the pressure on his fellow competitors and then control the rest of the heat to take it out.
Other standouts from the Pro Junior action were Zeb Stokes (Sunshine Coast), Saxon Reber (North Steyne) and Lennox Chell (Avoca).
Pro Junior competitors will reconvene at Avoca Beach for Finals Day action. The first heats will kick off at 7:30am.
The 2022 Vissla and Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro presented by Mad Mex will run at Avoca Beach from March 14 - 19 with the Central Coast Pro Junior running 17 - 19. For more information, results and live broadcast, head to www.worldsurfleague.com or download the free WSL App.
Winners. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Molly Picklum And Joel Vaughan Show The Strength Of Central Coast Surfing Winning Central Coast Pro Junior
Saturday March 19, 2022
Molly Picklum and Joel Vaughan were victorious at the Central Coast Pro Junior today. The event was the second stop on the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Australia / Oceania Junior Series.
Today’s win from the North Shelly power surfing pair shows their club is doing something very right in producing a field of high-performance junior surfers. The club was recently crowned the national champions at the Australian Boardriders Battle and had a solid contingent of athletes competing in both the Central Coast Pro Qualifying Series and Pro Junior events this week.
The overcast southerly conditions weren’t a problem for the dynamic young guns at The Pines, Avoca Beach. They made the messy two-to-three feet surf look entertaining and rippable as they continue their quest for a spot in the World Junior Championships later this year.
The Women’s field battled the tough conditions and rain all day. It was Ellie Harrison (Torquay), Charli Hurst (Port Kembla), Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach) and Sierra Kerr (Snapper Rocks) who dominated the tricky waves and secured their spots in the Pro Junior Final.
Ellie Harrison came into the final looking the most dominant in her Semi-final with a massive 15.50 heat total including an excellent 8.50 in the first few minutes. The Victorian dynamo however had her hands full with the rest of the competition as CT surfer Molly Picklum showed her claws in a fiery division final, whilst Charli Hurst and Sierra Kerr also got very busy.
In a back and forth final with the lead changing on numerous occasions, it was the experience of Picklum which saw her grab two strong scores in the last half of the heat to get the overall win.
She was able to do damage on a long left hander and get a 7.00 ride to put her lead too far in front of her fellow competitors.
Picklum will now set her sights on her Championship Tour debut at Bells Beach and go into the event with a bunch of confidence and steam from her great results here at Avoca.
“It’s great to get a win here at Avoca and finish up with a second place yesterday in the QS 3,000,” Picklum said. “To get a win out here against amazing surfers feels amazing, especially on home turf. Coming into this I was treating just like I would at a CT and QS and felt like I was able to execute my strategy which I’m really proud of. I feel like I was able to fine tune aspects of my surfing back here at home in the events and can’t wait for Bells in a couple of weeks time”.
Finishing in second place was Charli Hurst, third went to Ellie Harrison and in fourth place was Sierra Kerr.
The Men’s Pro Junior draw put on a clinic and made the conditions look favourable as they battled it out for critical points in a bid to make it to the World Junior Championships.
The four standouts of the event in Lennix Smith (Jones Beach and Southbridge), Lake Mac Pro Junior Champion Marlon Harrison (Snapper Rocks), Central Coast powerhouse Joel Vaughan (North Shelly) and Kobi Clements (Long Reef) reigned supreme in their Semi-final matchups and secured a spot in the final.
The Men’s final was full of entertainment with surfers throwing absolutely everything at the conditions.
Showcasing his mature rail game and air game, Joel Vaughan was far too good for his fellow competitors as he put forward solid scores of 7.17 and 6.87.
Vaughan was unstoppable right throughout the Pro Junior draw after falling out of the QS 3,000 draw early in the event. He was out with vengeance to get his form back to the top after going into this week's proceedings as the Australia / Oceania Regional Rankings number one surfer.
“I’m honoured to have taken out the Pro Junior down here at Avoca and get good waves in the event so close to home,” Vaughan said. “After my loss in the QS a couple of days ago I was keen to try and reset and surf as well as I could. It’s a great feeling to win my first Pro Junior and keep the ball rolling into the QS 5,000 at the Tweed Coast Pro and Surfest at Newcastle.
Finishing in second was Kobi Clements, third went to Marlon Harrison and in fourth place was Lennix Smith.
Kobi Clements. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW
Competitors will now set their sights on the Tweed Coast Pro Junior which is set to begin next Friday (25 March).
The 2022 Central Coast Pro Junior is proudly supported by Regional NSW with Mad Mex, VW Amarok Vans & Utes and Kayo Sports.
Winners. Photo by Natalie Meredith / Surfing NSW