WSL PRESS RELEASE
Manly Beach, NSW /AUS (Monday, March 18, 2019) – The 2019 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women’s Surf Pro presented by Sisstrevolution have seen an incredible opening day at Manly with some of the world’s best surfers doing battle for World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) points. Manly, one of the world’s most iconic surfing locations, turned on super clean 2-to-3 foot surf for the opening day of competition.
The Holmes Civil Developments Pro in Newcastle didn’t go to plan for Hawaiian competitor Alana Blanchard (HAW) as the former Championship Tour surfer went down in her Round 1 heat. Blanchard, who hasn’t been competing full time for the last couple of years bounced back well on Day 1 of Manly posting the highest single wave score of Round 1 for a combination of big frontside turns.
“Newcastle wasn’t great for me as my heat was held in pretty tough conditions,” Blanchard said. “I was definitely keen to come back from that result so posting an 8.93 felt really good. I’m not too sure of my plan this year is but I definitely want to get a couple of decent results and improve my seed. Obviously, re-qualifying would be cool but at the moment I’m just keeping my expectations low. Coming back to competition mainly came from missing it when I’d watch the events so it’s fun to be back and making heats.”
After a few years away from competitive surfing to focus on a university degree, Cannelle Bulard (FRA) has made a return to WSL events in 2019. The French competitor exceeded her expectations, finishing the Newcastle QS6,0000 event in equal 3rd place. Bulard now comes to Manly sitting in the top spot on the QS rankings and in a solid position for a tilt at Championship Tour Qualification.
“Years ago I finished equal 3rd in a couple of 6000 events so I knew I could do it, I just didn’t expect to have that sort of success straight away,” Bulard said. “I haven’t really had time to take it in because I came straight to Manly to compete here this morning. It was awesome surfing against Sally (Fitzgibbons) and I’m definitely feeling really confident surfing here now.”
After taking out the WSL Asia QS rankings, Indonesian youngster Ketut Agus (IDN) was awarded a seed into all of the QS6,000 and 10,000 events in the first half of 2019. The super fast natural-footer made good use of his opportunity on Day 1 of the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro, taking down his more senior opponents to progress into Round 2.
“I’m so stoked to be here competing in these major QS events,” Agus said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to surf against older competitors with lots of experience. The waves are really fun at the moment so I was enjoying myself out there. I can’t wait to come back and surf in Round 2 and would love to surf against one of the Championship Tour surfers.”