March 4 - 10, 2018: Issue 350

Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. At Manly: 2018

Michael Rodrigues, Day 3 Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro is bringing top level, international surfing back to the historic and iconic Manly Beach in 2018. Between 24 February and 4 March over 20 countries will be represented in local, junior and World Surf League Qualifying Series 6000 events. Many of the world’s top athletes including those competing in the Championship Tour, in the running for World Champion in 2018 will be in the water ready to super-charge their competitive year in the week before the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast.

Not only is the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro significant to the surfers of today, it also pays homage to great champions and legends of Manly’s past. In 2018 the coveted Midget Farrelly award will form part of the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and recognise the incredible part that Manly has played in Australia’s surfing history. World Titles have been won, hearts have been broken, magic has been made on Manly Beach and the people who were there as participants, pioneers, onlookers all agree that it’s a truly special place.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro will this year also host a number of off-beach activations and festivities that will be centralised around the Corso area. Drop into the Steyne Hotel any time of the day to soak up the essence of Manly. Take a stroll down The Corso to enjoy the artisan markets and impeccable gourmet treats, cafes, restaurants and bars.

It’s an event for the whole family, and every member of the local and wider community to enjoy. Surfing brings people together and what better place than Manly to host the perfect balance of surfing, beach life and festival vibes.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro will be proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, Coastalwatch, WSL and Surfing NSW.

You can stay connected via #SydneySurfPro and the Surfing NSW FacebookInstagramTwitter & YouTube channels.

“We wanted the best possible environment for the surfers and the local community and maximise the interaction between surfers and the fans,” said Luke Madden, CEO of Surfing NSW. “This will help to create an amazing experience for all.”

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro evolved out of discussions with World Surf League, Manly Council, local MP James Griffin, Surfing NSW, Destination NSW and Vissla.

“What a terrific demonstration of community spirit and clear intent from our local businesses to support the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach,” said Mr. Griffin. “The event will showcase Manly to the world and be a great boost for our businesses and create a wonderful time for locals. I’m grateful to all the businesses who have come on board and look forward to welcoming others as we get closer to the event.”

“It’s really exciting for World Surf League and our surfers to be able to have such a large scale event in Sydney,” said WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith. “We’re ecstatic to work with partners like Destination NSW, Surfing NSW, Vissla and the Northern Beaches Council who share our vision for surfing and caring for the environment. It’s an exciting time counting down to this brand new event.”’

Layne Beachley Honoured With Inaugural Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Award

Seven times world champion Layne Beachley has been selected as the inaugural winner of the Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Award.

The new award, which honours surfing legend Midget Farrelly, was be awarded to Beachley at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro.

Farrelly won Australia’s first world surfing title in 1964 at Manly Beach, the same beach that is currently hosting the QS 6000 event, “As a 17-year-old, Midget literally put Manly on the map,” said Beachley. “Winning the first world title here in front of hundreds of thousands of people, it looked like from the photos, he gave Manly its core surf culture through his performance and through his love of surfing and competitive nature. He helped inspire a future generation of surfers who came from Manly to become world champions.”

“I remember when I staged the first Beachley surf event here at Manly, I remember Midget coming down here to check it out and I thought that’s pretty cool, that the Godfather of surfing has come to check it out.”

“The thing about Midget is that there’s so much people don’t know about his impact and contribution that he made to surfing. From being a world champion and standing up for what he believed in to creating the surf foam blanks, that I used to ride. And to shaping magnificent pieces of equipment and still going out there and demonstrating what it takes to be a great ballerina on the water even into his late 60s. He was a true gentleman, a true lover of the ocean and a true custodian of what it means to be a surfer.”

Confirming Beachley as winner of the award, Harry Hodge, Chairman of the Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Award Committee said "Layne's contribution to surfing for over 20 years has been outstanding.”

“Winning a record seven World Women's World Surfing titles, her commitment to her charity work and being elected Chair of Surfing Australia highlights Layne's incredible commitment to surfing.”
The award was presented to Beachley at the Sydney Business Chamber CEO breakfast at the contest site of the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. Layne was greeted by Farrelly’s wife who were in attendance.

“We are pleased that the standards of excellence and innovation that Midget pioneered in winning Australia’s first world surfing title 54 years ago at Manly will continue in Manly at the new Sydney Surf Pro, and that Midget’s legacy and inspiration will live on in this new award," Hodge said.

The Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Award Committee comprised:

- Harry Hodge, Chair: The founder of Quiksilver in Europe, Harry has been involved in surfing for over 40 years. As a Director of Surfing New South Wales he remains closely involved in the sport and is a founding member of the International Surfing Association - "Friends of Olympic Surfing" - the Association credited with having surfing accepted as an Olympic sport in 2020.

- Phil Jarratt: A renowned journalist and author Phil is regarded as one of surfing foremost surf historians. He recent project, "Life Of Brine," an autobiography of Phil's life and times in surfing.

- Mark Windon OAM: One of the most respected CEO's of Surfing New South Wales who is now an Executive Director of the organisation.

- Graham "Sid" Cassidy: Like Jarratt, a renowned and respect journalist who has a long history in surfing as one of the founding CEO's of professional surfing.


MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Monday, 26 February 2018): 
Professional surfing action in New South Wales has continued today as the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 6,000 event kicked off at Manly Beach. The action was on tap as 24 heats of Men’s round one action was completed in building and blustery 4-to-6 foot surf.

Fresh from a runner-up finish yesterday at Newcastle Surfest, Barron Mamiya (HAW) from Hawaii was the one to watch in Men’s Round One. The powerful natural-footer struggled to get going and was left chasing Sunshine Coaster Reef Heazlewood (AUS) for the majority of the heat. Eventually, it was goofy foot Heazlewood who won the heat with a two-wave total of 12.73 (out of a possible 20) just ahead of Mamiya who took the second progressing spot.

“It was always going to be hard to overcome Barron (Mamiya) after his performance at Surfest last week,” Heazlewood said. “I knew if I was on the right waves I would be able to get solid scores so I just focused on myself and what waves I needed to be on. I have been here for a couple of days and the waves today are the best I’ve seen yet, so all of the competitors are really excited to get out there.”

Hailing from France, Marc Lacomare (FRA) is no stranger to chunky beach break conditions, which was evident in his opening heat performance at Manly. Lacomare waited patiently for a set and eventually found a right-hander to open up two massive backhand hooks and post an excellent 9.00-point ride (out of a possible 10) to put himself in a commanding position. He then backed it up with a 7.43 to comfortably win the heat and progress into round two.

“I’m really happy to have that first heat out of the way, it is always the most stressful,” Lacomare said. “It’s great that there is some solid size out there and the waves are really fun. I always see guys getting over excited at the start of heats and trying to catch too many waves. I really focused on staying patient and trying to find a set wave that looked good and it paid off as I was much more relaxed after posting such a good wave score.”

After taking out the Seat Pro Netanya pres. by Reef QS3,000 in Israel a month ago, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) is building momentum heading into the second QS6,000 of the year. After seeing friend and countryman Michael February make a solid push for Qualification in 2017, McGillivray is keen to continue his own form in 2018 and represent his flag well at the top end of the QS rankings.

“I feel really confident after taking out that QS3,000 in Israel,” McGillivray said. “It has definitely given me some momentum so I just need to harness that, especially at this event. It was definitely inspirational for all of the South African competitors to see Michael February last year. Seeing him get so close and get a start in the CT events is awesome and has definitely spurred me on to go bigger and better than ever. The waves were building throughout my heat so I’m hoping it stays solid for the next few days.”

After a number of years away from competitive surfing, former Championship Tour competitor Raoni Monterio (BRA) returned in late 2017 to take out the Siargao Surfing Cup QS3,000 at Cloud 9 in the Philippines. Through this he was awarded a higher seed and now finds himself competing at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and although he is keeping a low profile his intentions were made clear with his Round One performance that he wants to be back on the CT. A heat win to kick off 2018 was a good way to start things for the Brazilian powerhouse who ended his Round One encounter with a 14.57.

“I don’t want to make a big deal of it but my major goal is to get back onto the CT,” Monterio said. “It was good to win in the Philippines and know that I still have it but this is a big event and the field is full of amazing surfers so it will be hard to do well. The waves are great today which always makes competing better, I just hope they stay solid and I can keep surfing the way I like to.” 

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  

ABOVE: Frenchman Marc Lacomare (FRA) was a standout on day one of competition at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro, posting the highest single wave score of the opening day, an excellent 9.00 point ride. Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Great Waves Continue At Australia's Historic Home Of Surfing For Opening Day Of Sydney Women's Surf Pro

MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Tuesday, 27 February 2018): 
Surfing’s most promising future stars hit the water today for the first two rounds of the Sydney Women’s Surf Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 6,000 event. Manly Beach continued it’s run of great waves for ladies with clean 3-to-4 foot peaks up and down the beach all day.

After an injury-plagued 2017 season, former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Alessa Quizon (HAW) is keen to make up for lost time in 2018. With a shock early exit at her first QS of the year in Newcastle, Quizon made amends on Day 2 at Manly, posting the highest two-wave total of the event so far, a 16.16 (out of a possible 20). Quizon moves into Round Three and continues on her quest to return to the CT.

“I’ve learned over the years not to get caught up in the past,” Quizon said. “I had a pretty bad run in Newcastle but I just moved on from it as quickly as possible and shifted my focus to this event. It’s a new wave and a different event, so a chance to reset. After my injury last year, my confidence was low, so to get a win feels really good. I’ve come into this year looking at it like a clean slate and just reminding myself of why I do this, that I’m enjoying it and it’s something that I love.”

Alessa Quizon Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

After a solid showing in Newcastle saw her finish equal 5th, Portuguese sensation Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) came into the Sydney Women’s Surf Pro carrying serious momentum. Bonvalot revelled in the left-handers at Manly, posting an excellent 8.17 (out of a possible 10) then backing it up with 5.83 to take another heat win in 2018.

“That was a great heat for me, The waves are so fun and it’s a beautiful day, so I’m really happy,” Bonvalot said. “Newcastle has set me up nicely at the beginning of the year so I really want to capitalise here at Manly and set my self up for 2018. Regardless of my results, I do get to do what I love and that is the most important thing to me.”

In what appeared to be one of the standout Women’s heats on paper, Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS) executed a chain of world-class snaps to notch up an impressive 14.83 two-wave heat total. Fellow heat surfers Ella Williams (NZL), Leilani McGonagle (CRI) and Isabella Nichols (AUS) put on valiant performances as they attempted to usurp her from the top spot, however, none were able to muster up the required score to take the win. Williams finished the heat in the runner-up spot, posting a 12.47 heat total, while McGonagle and Nichols finished in third and fourth respectively.

“That heat was so stacked and I knew I’d have to surf really well to get ahead of those girls,” said Olsson. “The conditions began to deteriorate slightly with the low tide, so you really needed to find wave that had corners on them so you could perform a few turns. I’m definitely looking forward to the next round.”

Kirra Belle Olsson Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

The first heat of Round Two saw young Torquay’s rising star India Robinson (AUS) come up against former CT competitor Chelsea Tuach (BRB), Ren Hashimoto (JPN) and Ellie Brooks (AUS). After Robinson was dealt a tough hand at the recent QS6,000 in Newcastle, she was keen to put that behind her and find a win here in Manly. It wasn’t going to be easy with the experience she was up against in her Round Two match-up. While the other competitors traded scores and seemed to be sitting pretty Robinson struggled to find a wave of substance. It was a classic last-minute reprieve for the 16-year-old as she posted two scores back-to-back and moved into the first spot to win the heat.

“To be honest it has been tough to reset after Newcastle,” Robinson said. “Luckily I have a lot of people in my corner and have been able to get through it and shift my focus to this event which has been a great learning experience for me. Coming up against Chelsea and the older competitors does way on my mind a bit but I just try and go out there and do my best.”

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  

Top Seeds Unleash On Manly For Day 3 Of The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro

MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Wednesday, 28 February 2018): 
The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League (WSL) has continued today with Men’s Round Two being run and done and with it bringing the event’s top seeds into the fold. There were upsets and standouts as some of the world’s best ripped into windy 2-to-3 foot peaks at the iconic Manly Beach.
With a howling northeasterly wind mowing through the lineup, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) opted to rely on his aerial repertoire to claim victory in his Round Two heat with a solid 15.00 two-wave heat total. As a former runner-up here in Manly, Fioravanti has seen the beach-break at its best and worst and knew the wind would be perfectly suited for his acrobatic antics.

“The first heat is always the hardest for me because you’re beginning to build momentum,” said Fioravanti. “I’ve been at Manly for the last few years and I’ve seen it in all sorts of conditions and when I come here I have zero expectations, so if the waves are good or bad then I still try to have fun. The wind is perfect for airs, so that’s what I relied on. I have Richard ‘Dog’ Marsh in my corner this year as a coach, which is a new partnership. He and I worked together up until I was about 13 or so and now we’re back together. He’s got so much wisdom to share and he’s really helped me while I’ve been here in Manly.”

Leonardo Fioravanti - photo by Dunbar

After a tough competitive year in 2017, that saw Jack Freestone (AUS) drop off the elite Championship Tour, a first heat loss at Newcastle last week was not the start to the season he was after. The former two-time World Junior Champion has had to not only re-adjust to life back on the QS but to also adjust recently becoming a father. With what sleep he has been getting, Freestone has reset and came back at Manly looking solid as ever taking his first heat win of the season with a two-wave total of 13.56 ousting CT surfer and event favourite Kanoa Igarashi along the way.

“The biggest thing I’ve been working on this year is finding a balance with everything that is going on in my life,” Freestone said. “There is a lot going on and being a dad is obviously very new to me so there are a couple of challenges. I have a game plan that I will try and always stick too and it won’t work all of the time but it will most of the time. After Newcastle, I knew I just needed a heat win and will hopefully be able to build on that.”

Jack Freestone Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Heat 10 of Round Two was melting pot of Brazilian professional surfing generations with former Championship Tour stalwart Heitor Alves (BRA) coming up against Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), Flavio Nakagima (BRA) and young gun Samuel Pupo (BRA). The countrymen went blow for blow, trading mid-range scores, but in the end, it was the up and comer Pupo who took the win with a heat total of 13.76. The 17-year-old will progress with Dantas while Alves and Nakagima were eliminated.

“I know all of those guys well so we were just chatting and having fun during the heat,” Pupo said. “I think that the relaxed environment out there definitely helped me. I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself this year and that heat I stayed relaxed and it seems to really help. I’m hoping the waves stay like they were during my heat, it was really similar to the waves at home which also helped me.”

After back-to-back QS1,000 victories at the Tweed Coast and Great Lakes events, Jackson Baker (AUS) rolled into his home event at Newcastle full of confidence. Unfortunately, the curse of the locals struck him down and he was eliminated in Round Two. Having a week to wash off the disappointment, Baker re-focused and prepared for a major match-up with Kalani Ball (AUS), Marco Giorgi (URY) and 2018 CT Rookie Griffin Colapinto (USA). 

Although he was up against some stiff competition, Baker looked unfazed posting a 14.10 heat total to progress with ease along with Colapinto.

“I didn’t get the result I was after in Newcastle I was after,” Baker said. “There is always a lot of pressure to do well at home but I couldn’t quite pull it together, unfortunately, it’s a bit of a curse for the local surfers. Apart from that though I’m still carrying confidence from those two event wins more than the disappointment of last week. I hadn’t surfed for a few days so I was really excited to get out there for my heat and that always helps.”

2018 WSL Championship Tour surfer Keanu Asing (HAW) showed why he’s cut out for the big leagues, keeping his composure through the majority of the heat while sitting in third position. Requiring a decent score, Asing was able to post a solid 7.83 on his last wave of the heat to jump into first spot and earn a progressing position alongside Mateus Herdy (BRA).

“I had a clear game-plan that I knew I’d have to stick to,” said Asing. “I knew the lefthanders had so much potential, but you really just needed to find the right one. Thankfully, I found that one really long one at the end of the heat and I was able to post a 7.83 to move into first.”

Keanu Asing, day 3 Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  

Three 9-Point-Rides & Inspiring Performances By The Women At The Sydney Surf Pro, Manly Beach

MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Thursday, 2 March 2018): 
Manly beach has been torn apart by some of Women’s Surfing’s current and future stars at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 6,000. In clean 2-to-3 foot waves, the performance bar was being continuously lifted with a steady flow of excellent scores being posted in every heat surfed.

Having found much success on the East Coast of Australia in recent years, former Manly QS event runner-up Johanne Defay (FRA) has a close affinity with this area. The elite Championship Tour (CT) competitor kicked off her 2018 Sydney Women’s Surf Pro campaign in devastating form, posting an event high heat total of 18.10 (out of a possible 20) on her first two waves for a number of epic backhand hacks.

“That felt really good to post a couple of solid scores,” Defay said was disappointed with how Newcastle finished up so to come back and win a heat like that feels really good. The waves were fun out there and really suited my surfing so I’m hoping it is like this for the coming days. It’s always good to come and compete at Manly - it is a great place.

Brazilian dynamo Silvana Lima (BRA) was another big name standout on Day 4 at Manly with her committed display of backhand surfing. Although Lima was in control of the heat in its entirety, she still wasn’t content with her total and went upside down on a critical lefthander and rode out clean to post a near perfect 9.50 (out of a possible 10) and take the heat win with a total of 16.07.

“When I took off on that wave I knew it would have some great sections on it,” Lima said. “I hit the first one and wanted to go hard again and thought why not? Then when I rode out it felt amazing and I knew it would be a big score. The competition here is fierce and that is the sort of surfing we are expected to do to get the big scores.”

Sage Erickson (USA) finished her 2017 CT season in a career-best 8th position. The Santa Barbra local felt she missed opportunities at the end of the year to solidify herself a spot in the top 5. In 2018 she has returned with a more focused outlook and a confidence in her surfing that hasn’t existed before. That winning feeling was ever present after Erickson took her first heat win of the season at Manly today with an excellent two-wave total of 16.46.

“I had such a big opportunity last year to lock into the top 5,” Erickson said. “The last two events got away from me and I was kicking myself, even though it was my best season, I feel like I could have been even stronger. Having goals and expectations is really important and my goal here is to surf more so during that heat I kept super busy. I’m stoked to get a heat win under my belt and I’m really happy to be here in Manly for the Australian summer, it’s beautiful.”

Another Championship Tour competitor who posted an excellent two-wave total to win her heat was Hawaiian Malia Manuel (HAW). The silky smooth natural-footer found a solid rhythm in the running lefthanders to earn herself a 16.16 and a spot in Round Four. Manuel is now one step closer to winning a second QS6,000 event at the iconic Manly Beach, a place where her fellow Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku introduced surfing to Australia just over 100 years ago.

“I love it here in Manly,” Manuel said. “It’s awesome to represent Hawaii in a spot where ‘The Duke’ introduced surfing too all that time ago, and I’m so happy that WSL, Surfing NSW and Vissla have put this event together so we can come back to beautiful Manly. These QS events are a really good way to warm up ahead of the CT season and work on anything I have planned over the off-season. There is a bit of pressure coming in as a past event winner but pressure is a good way to test yourself so I’m excited to see how the event unfolds.

The future of women’s American surfing looks to be in great hands with 15-year-old Kirra Pinkerton (USA) and 14-year-old Alyssa Spencer (USA) continuing their epic run in 2018. Pinkerton topped her heat to progress over event top seed Nikki Van Dijk while Spencer dominated her match-up posting the highest single wave score of the event so far with a 9.50 to win with a total of 17.10.

“I was super lucky to find that 9.50,” Spencer said. I was actually halfway through moving from one bank to the next and that wave popped up so I was really fortunate to snag that wave. It definitely helps to build my confidence coming up against the older more experienced competitors and winning but I don’t want to get to far ahead of myself.”

Alyssa Spencer Photo by:  Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW

Australian surfers Reef Heazlewood (AUS) and Mikey Wright (AUS) dominated the first heats of round four posting impressive heat totals made up of high scoring waves. However, the international contingent proceeded to make up for lost ground as the round went on with Jadson Andre (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA) and Bino Lopes (BRA) all claiming victory in the following heats. All surfers will make their next appearance in the fourth round.

As part of the event, Vissla will be bringing a celebration of the creators and innovators of surf to the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. More than 21 of the world's best surfboard shapers will take part in a live shaping demonstration for the masses right on Manly Beach, the heartland of Australian surfing.

You can visit the craftsmen in their custom pop-up glassed-in shaping bay. Watch, listen and learn from each shaper as they turn a blank of foam into a slick new craft.

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  


MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Friday, 2 March 2018): 
After another mammoth day of action at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 event, the field has been narrowed and the contest is moving quickly toward the pointy end. Manly Beach has continued to provide competitors with great waves as all eyes look towards what will no doubt be an epic weekend of surf action.

Fresh off a recent win at the Burton Toyota Pro QS6,000 event, one would assume that Mikey Wright (AUS) would be feeling overly confident as he goes through the rounds of the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. However, Wright’s current approach to forgetting about previous results and attacking what is in front of him is clearly paying dividends as he took out his Round 4 exchange against young dynamo Reef Heazelwood (AUS) and Mateus Herdy (BRA). Wright nailed a chain of exciting backside snaps to notch up a decent 15.66 two-wave heat total to gain the upper hand against Heazlewood who advanced in second position.

“The waves were really fun out there even with the higher tide,” said Wright. “I don’t feel overly confident off those recent wins, I’m just focusing on what is in front of me and forgetting about the day before. Ever since I was little, I’ve tried to just take every heat as a new thing.”

In what was a heat stacked with former and current Championship Tour surfers Keanu Asing (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) went hell-for-leather as they looked to cement themselves a position into the fifth round. Asing’s game plan of sitting wide for the beginning of the heat proved to be smart tactical move as he put a handful of above-average scores on the board. Asing executed a flurry of impressive backside snaps to finished the heat with a 13.60 two-wave total and take the heat from Dantas and Colapinto who finished in second and third respectively.

“I wanted to get a quick start and post two quick scores before locking in something substantial,” said Asing. “The other guys were down the beach, so I figured I’d get a score on the board and then go and play the priority game. I knew I had to be smarter and make sure I was on the better waves. When you’re surfing against guys who are as good as Griffin and Wiggolly, you really need to make sure you give it everything you’ve got.”

After taking out the Volcom Pipe Pro QS3,000 earlier this year, Hawaii’s Josh Moniz (HAW) was set up for a stellar 2018 season, that was until he suffered from a staph infection and had to pull out of the first 6,000 event at Newcastle. After making a quicker than expected recovery, Moniz jumped on a flight and prepared for the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. The last-minute call to come to Manly paid dividends in his Round Four match-up as he took a dying seconds win over former CT competitors Stu Kennedy and Matt Banting. It was a nail-biting heat with only 0.16 points separating the three surfers.

“I feel like I had some good momentum leading into Newcastle then had to pull out,” Moniz said. “I was prepared to miss both of the events and then recovered a little quicker than I was supposed to so got on a plane and came to Sydney and it feels good to have the ball rolling again. Although this is a super different event to the one at Pipe for waves, the preparation is the same so I was confident that I’d be ready for anything.”

Former World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) came bursting out of the gates in her Round Four match-up with Hawaiian duo Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW). Callaghan posted her winning heat total of 14.57 on her first two rides leaving McDougall and Weston-Webb to duel it out for the second progressing spot. After missing out on qualifying for the Championship Tour in 2017 by one spot, Callaghan is keen on going one step further this year, and she is off to a good start with a Round Five berth at the Sydney Women’s Surf Pro.

“I was pretty devastated after missing out last year,” Callaghan said. “It was hard to take but it was an awesome learning experience. This year I feel a lot more confident in myself and my surfing which definitely helps when surfing heats at this level. I’m really excited about the year ahead and am really keen for a big result here at Manly.”

Usually known for her prowess in punchy surf, Northern Beaches native Holly Wawn (AUS) showed she was more than capable of dominating in the small conditions when she posted two excellent scores to amass a 17.84 heat total to take the Round Five victory over current World Championship Tour surfer Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). Having recently taken out the Vissla Great Lakes Pro at Boomerang, Wawn attributed her current form to the support of her family and ignoring the hype surrounding her fellow competitors.

“It’s really cool competing here and having a bunch of friends and family at the beach cheering me on,” Wawn said. “It really does spur you on having that kind of support. I’m aware that these girls have competed at the top level and are going to be tough to beat but I know what I’m capable of. I just focus on getting two good waves, and today I did that so

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  


MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Saturday, 3 March 2018): 
It’s been a tough day of competition at Manly for the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro with surfers dealing with small wind affected waves for the sixth day of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 event. Although wave heights were low the stakes were high as 16 of the worlds best booked themselves a spot in the Quarterfinals.

Young Australian goofy-foot Reef Heazlewood (AUS) guaranteed himself a career-best QS result, overcoming Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) in their Round Five match-up.  De Vries who was carrying solid form from the recent Newcastle event, was surfing fast in the small conditions and posted 10.53 two-wave total. Hailing from the Sunshine Coast, Heazlewood’s repertoire of manoeuvres in the small surf was unable to be matched as he won the heat with a total of 14.33 (out of a possible 20).

“That was a pretty intense heat,” Heazlewood said. “There was a lot of jostling for position but I eventually just tried to do my own thing. It was pretty hard to tell which waves are the good ones, so I just kept rolling on the ones that looked like they might have some shape. This will be my best result in a QS6,000 and I suppose If I keep surfing well and making heats, qualification could be on the cards. But that’s a long way away and I don’t want to get too far ahead of my self but it would be sick to be in that position at the end of the season.”

2018 WSL Championship Tour Rookie Michael Rodrigues (BRA) felt right at home in the small wind affected conditions. Coming up against countryman Wiggolly Dantas, Rodrigues was unstoppable, finding power in the waves that no one else could. He miraculously posted an excellent heat total of 17.76 to progress into the Quarterfinals while Dantas is eliminated in equal 9th.

"This place is like Brazil for me, Rodrigues said. Small waves and lots of friends on the beach - I feel at home. For me, it doesn’t matter about the size of the waves. It’s hard for other competitors but I find it super fun - As soon as I saw the waves I knew they were perfect for aerials and I was confident I’d be able to surf well.

Championship Tour competitor and event top seed Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) posted her strongest performance of the week, taking down Hawaiian CT veteran Coco Ho (HAW). Ho was the form surfer of the event having taken out the QS6,000 in Newcastle last week but was unable to overcome Van Dijk who posted round high 14.23 heat total.

“You can never get down about the waves being like this during an event,” Van Dijk said. “We are all in the same position and have to deal with it so it is best to stay positive. I could be totally flat so I’m just thankful we having something to surf. I don’t change my preparation too much I just try and stay light – surf a lighter board and keep nimble is the major focus.”

Having won in Manly last year, Malia Manuel (HAW) showed she could carry the same form despite the drastic difference in swell from 2017. Manuel came up against a blisteringly in form Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS) in the Round Five exchange, posting a mediocre 10.83 two-wave heat total and cementing a spot into tomorrow’s final. “This is definitely the round you want to get through,” said Manuel.

“When the waves are this small, there are so many elements you need to get right – you need luck, you need to play the priority game, your preparation and you need to ensure you get the best waves. Thankfully it went my way this time.”

Macy Callaghan (AUS) continued her rampage through the Sydney Women’s Surf Pro, taking out her Round Five heat. Callaghan found multiple lefts in the totally wave-starved lineup to post two above average scores to amass a 12.16 two-wave total and cement her spot in the Quarterfinals. Callaghan overcame Portuguese goof-footer Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) who was left chasing an elusive 8.33 wave score.

“That was a really tough heat to get going in,” said Callaghan. “I knew you would have to wait patiently for whatever decent waves came through, even though there weren’t too many. It’s definitely a good feeling to get those tough heats out of the way.”

The 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women's Pro will be held from February 26th  - March 4th. For more information, highlights and images, head to or and on the WSL App.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro Is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Northern Beaches Council, WSL and Surfing NSW.  

It's A Wrap: Deivid Silva & Nikki Van Dijk Take Out 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro At Manly Beach

MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (Saturday, 3 March 2018): 
Deivid Silva and Nikki Van Dijk have taken out the 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 event at Manly. After a week of epic conditions at Sydney’s home of professional surfing, the Final day was held in small testing conditions. This did not detract from action as huge weekend crowds watched Silva take the victory of his career while Van Dijk took her second QS victory at Manly.

Deivid Silva bagged himself the best win of his young career, claiming the Men’s division ahead of fellow countryman Alejo Muniz. Silva dominated the tiny waves throughout the thirty minute affair, nailing the only perfect 10-point ride of the entire event to gain the upper hand against Muniz who was left chasing an 18.84 two-wave combination to take away Silva’s lead. Silva takes home 6,000 valuable Qualifying Series points for the win and will head into the year with a solid leg up as a result of the title.

“I’m so happy to win this event at this beach is so good and I feel so honoured,” Silva said. “This has given me such a good start for 2018 and to share the final with such a good friend is the best feeling. This is the best win of my life so far and I’m so stoked to take it back Brazil.”

Spending a solid portion of the last year injured, Alejo Muniz showed a stellar return to form, taking out the runner-up finish. Muniz was unable to find the same gear he displayed in earlier heats, however he remains stoked to share a final with a fellow Brazilian and get a solid result to start 2018.

“This has been such a good start to 2018 for me,” Muniz said. “I got a 9th in Newcastle and now to come second to my great friend is a really good feeling. Even though I needed a combination of scores at the end, I’m still so stoked to get this result. Deivid and I have known each other for such a long time and I know his whole family so it doesn’t hurt to lose to a friend like him.”

The Sydney Women’s Surf Pro Final saw Van Dijk come up against Malia Manuel in what was a thrilling duel between the two elite Championship Tour competitors. Along with valuable QS points and prize money there were serious bragging rights on the line as each surfer searched for a second QS6,000 win at Manly. In 2016, Van Dijk took the win over Manuel and in 2018, it was a repeat result with Van Dijk posting an excellent 8.00 point ride along with a 6.53 for a total of 14.53. The Phillip Island native now heads into the first event of the 2018 Championship Tour, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, full of confidence.

“This has been such a fun week,” Van Dijk said. “Coming up against Malia was always going to be tough so I knew I’d have to rip every wave the best I could. I won this event two years ago and Malia won last year so there was definitely some rivalry out in the water so I was happy to come out on top. I’m so keen for the CT to start next week at Snapper Rocks but for now I’m going to just enjoy this win.”

In what was her third straight final appearance at Manly, Manuel looked on point posting a 14.10 two-wave total to give herself a chance at going back-to-back at Sydney’s biggest professional surfing event. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian natural footer she was left chasing a 7.44 to take the lead but forced to finish runner-up to Van Dijk once again.

“Regardless of the conditions it’s been a really fun week,” Manuel said. “It was a great challenge coming up against all of these women and in some tough waves but as always at Manly, the atmosphere was great. Apart from the last two days the waves were incredible, I’ve been surfing so much since I arrived. It was cool to meet Nikki in the Final again here at Manly it feels like just yesterday that we were facing off last time. I’m really excited ahead of the CT season and a Final to kick it off is a great way to prepare for Snapper.”

Deivid Silva and Nikki Van Dijk Take Victory at 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro at Manly Beach - photo by M. Dunbar

Vissla Women's Pro Athletes
26 February - 4 March

Ado, Pauline (FRA) Europe
Anderson, Philippa (AUS) Australia
Andrew, Keely (AUS) International
Ane, Josefina (ARG) South America
Aymat, Ainara (EUK) Europe
Barona, Dominic (ECU) South America
Bevilacqua, Claire (AUS) Australia
Blanco, Tia (USA) North America
Bonvalot, Teresa (PRT) Europe
Brooks, Ellie J (AUS) Australia
Bryan, Gabriela (HAW) Hawaii
Buitendag, Bianca (ZAF) Africa
Callaghan, Macy-Jane (AUS) Australia
Callister, Lucy (AUS) Australia
Canales Bilbao, Leticia (EUK) Europe
Coffey, Ellie-Jean (AUS) Australia
Collins, Meah (USA) North America
Conlogue, Courtney (USA) International
Cope, Brianna M (HAW) Hawaii
Cosoleto, Maria Lucia (ARG) South America
Defay, Joanne (FRA) International
Enever, Laura (AUS) Australia
Enright, Kobie (AUS) Australia
Erickson, Sage (USA) International
Fierro, Vahine (PYF) Europe
Francis, Ellie Jean (AUS) Australia
Fulton, Sophia (AUS) Australia
Gilchrist, Kaleigh (USA) North America
Giunta, Melanie (PER) South America
Greene, Eliza (AUS) Australia
Greene, Mikaela (AUS) Australia
Hareb, Paige (NZL) International
Harrer, Francesca (DEU) North America
Hashimoto, Ren (JPN) Asia
Hays, Autumn (USA) North America
Hennessy, Brisa (HAW) Hawaii
Henrique, Carol (PRT) Europe
Ho, Coco (HAW) International
Kawai, Minori (JPN) Asia
Kelly, Zahli Jade (AUS) Australia
Kemp, Camilla (PRT) Europe
Kurokawa, Hinako (JPN) Asia
Lartigue, Neis (FRA) Europe
Le Car, Maud (FRA) Europe
Lock, Alyssa (AUS) Australia
Macaulay, Bronte (AUS) International
Macedo, Summer (HAW) Hawaii
Maeda, Mahina Honoka (JPN) Asia
Manuel, Malia (HAW) International
Marks, Caroline Jeanette (USA) International
Matsuda, Shino (JPN) Asia
McCulloch, Sophie (AUS) Australia
McDougall, Zoe Adele (HAW) Hawaii
McGonagle, Leilani Marie (CRI) North America
Nagy, Bailey (HAW) Hawaii
Nicholl, Brittani (AUS) Australia
Nichols, Isabella (AUS) Australia
Nishimoto, Emily Moe ()
Olsson, Kirra-Belle (AUS) Australia
Omura, Nao (JPN) Asia
Palmateer, Felicity (AUS) Australia
Pinkerton, Kirra (USA) North America
Prumm, Freya (AUS) Australia
Quizon, Alessa (HAW) Hawaii
Riccobuano, Leila (HAW) Hawaii
Robinson, India May (AUS) Australia
Sanchez Ortun, Garazi (ESP) Europe
Silva, Silvana Lima Santiago da (BRA) International
Single, Stephanie (AUS) Australia
Spence, Ashlee (AUS) Australia
Spencer, Alyssa (USA) North America
Stone, Savanna K (HAW) Hawaii
Stoyle, Dimity (AUS) Australia
Tashiro, Nagisa (JPN) Asia
Thyssen, Tessa (FRA) Europe
Tsuzuki, Amuro (JPN) Asia
Tuach, Chelsea (BRB) North America
Van Dijk, Nikki (AUS) International
Wawn, Holly (AUS) Australia
Weston-Webb, Tatiana G (HAW) International
Williams, Ella Olivia (NZL) Australia

Vissla Men's Pro Athletes

Alves, Heitor (BRA) South America
Andre, Jadson (BRA) South America
Anwar, Oney (IDN) Australia
Arai, Hiroto (JPN) Asia
Aranburu, Aritz (ESP) Europe
Araujo, Yage Fernandes (BRA) South America
Asing, Keanu (HAW) International
Atkinson, Dion (AUS) Australia
Azuchi, Joh (JPN) Asia
Bailey, Soli (AUS) Australia
Baker, Jackson (AUS) Australia
Ball, Kalani Anthony (AUS) Australia
Banting, Matt (AUS) Australia
Bettero, Hizunome (BRA) South America
Bisso, Timothee (FRA) Europe
Boukhiam, Ramzi (MAR) Europe
Bowen, Dean (AUS) Australia
Brand, Benji (HAW) Hawaii
Braye, Mihimana (PYF) Hawaii
Bruce, Quinn Jack (AUS) Australia
Burke, Joshua Alan (BRB) North America
Callinan, Ryan (AUS) Australia
Camarão, Thiago (BRA) South America
Campbell, Shane Christopher (AUS) Australia
Cardoso, Willian (BRA) International
Carmo, David do (BRA) South America
Cathels, Davey (AUS) Australia
Chapman, Cooper (AUS) Australia
Chianca, Joao Vitor (BRA) South America
Christie, Ricardo (NZL) Australia
Clark, Taylor (USA) North America
Cloarec, Nelson (FRA) Europe
Coffin, Parker (USA) North America
Colapinto, Griffin (USA) International
Coleborn, Mitch (AUS) Australia
Collins, Jordy R (USA) North America
Correa, Alonso (PER) South America
Correa, Marcos Aurelio (BRA) South America
Couzinet, Jorgann Jorgann (FRA) Europe
Crane, Ian (USA) North America
Crews, Mitch (AUS) Australia
Criere, Andy (ESP) Europe
Crisanto, Peterson (BRA) South America
Dantas, Wiggolly (BRA) South America
De Almeida, Weslley Everton Domingos (BRA) South America
De Vries, Beyrick Joop Thulani (ZAF) Africa
Delahaye, Gatien (FRA) Europe
Devault, Imaikalani (HAW) Hawaii
Distinguin, Paul Cesar (FRA) Europe
Dos Santos, Victor Bernardo Francisco (BRA) South America
Dunphy, Michael (USA) North America
Ewing, Ethan Miller (AUS) Australia
Farias, Gabriel (BRA) South America
February, Michael (ZAF) Africa
Felipe, Luel (BRA) South America
Fernandez, Marco (BRA) South America
Fioravanti, Leonardo (ITA) Europe
Freestone, Jack William (AUS) Australia
Gates, Elijah Sean (HAW) Hawaii
Geiselman, Evan Cole (USA) North America
Giorgi, Marco (URY) South America
Gouveia, Ian (BRA) International
Guilbaud, Tristan (FRA) Europe
Guimaraes, Thiago (BRA) South America
Heazlewood, Reef (AUS) Australia
Herdy, Mateus Caldeira (BRA) South America
Hermes, Tomas (BRA) International
Hickel, Jared Thomas (AUS) Australia
Ho, Mason (HAW) Hawaii
Huscenot, Maxime (FRA) Europe
Igarashi, Kanoa (USA) International
Inaba, Reo (JPN) Asia
Jabour, Kiron (HAW) Hawaii
Kennedy, Stuart (AUS) Australia
King, Tomas (CRI) North America
Kino, Kaito (HAW) Hawaii
Kobayashi, Kei (USA) North America
Lacomare, Marc (FRA) Europe
Lawler, Jordan Thomas (AUS) Australia
Lopes, Bernardo Schlaepfer (BRA) South America
Mamiya, Barron (HAW) Hawaii
Marshall, Jake (USA) North America
Martin, Charly (FRA) Europe
McGill, Finn (HAW) Hawaii
McGillivray, Matthew (ZAF) Africa
McGonagle, Noe Mar (CRI) North America
McNamara, Makai (HAW) Hawaii
Meister, Torrey (HAW) Hawaii
Melling, Adam (AUS) Australia
Mendes, Jesse (BRA) International
Mendes, Vitor (BRA) South America
Mesinas, Lucca (PER) North America
Mignot, Diego (FRA) Europe
Mignot, Nomme (FRA) Europe
Moniz, Joshua (HAW) Hawaii
Moniz, Seth Masao (HAW) Hawaii
Monteiro, Raoni (BRA) South America
Morais, Frederico (PRT) International
Mori, Yuji (JPN) Asia
Mortensen, Lliam Bryce (AUS) Australia
Muniz, Alejo (BRA) South America
Muniz, Santiago nazareno (ARG) South America
Munoz, Carlos (CRI) North America
Murakami, Shun (JPN) Asia
Nakagima, Flavio (BRA) South America
Nakamura, Takumi (JPN) Asia
Nishi, Shuji (JPN) Asia
Nishi, Yuji (JPN) Asia
O’Brien, Liam (AUS) Australia
O’Leary, Connor (AUS) International
Ohashi, Kaito (JPN) Asia
Ohhara, Hiroto (JPN) Asia
Parkinson, Mitchell Robert (AUS) Australia
Pupo, Miguel (BRA) South America
Pupo, Samuel (BRA) South America
Ribeiro, Alexsander (BRA) South America
Ribeiro, Vasco (PRT) Europe
Richards, Cam Louis (USA) North America
Robinson, Jack (AUS) Australia
Rodrigues, Michael (BRA) International
Ross , Harley (AUS) Australia
Santos, Robson (BRA) South America
Selman Garcia, Manuel P (CHL) North America
Silva, Deivid (BRA) South America
Silveira, Lucas (BRA) South America
Stairmand, Billy (NZL) Australia
Tefaafana, Ariihoe (PYF) Hawaii
Teixeira, Rafael (BRA) South America
Tudela, Miguel (PER) North America
Tudela, Tomas (PER) North America
Usuna, Leandro (ARG) South America
Vargas, Jeronimo (BRA) South America
Waida, Rio (IDN) Asia
Watson, Ty Beau (AUS) Australia
Willcox, Jacob (AUS) Australia
Wright, Michael James (AUS) Australia
Young, Cody Lee (HAW) Hawaii
Young, Nat (USA) North America
Lineup Day 2 in the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro - photo by Bennett / Surfing NSW