Challenging surf conditions at the Australian Longboard Surfing Open in Round 1 saw the top surfers having to apply their skills to get through to Day 2 of the competition, which runs through Sunday 28 March, 2015.
Conditions were contestable with 1-2 foot waves and a wind-affected northeast onshore that brought a see-saw battle between all contestants. In every heat the wave selection was a priority, with the best waves seeing the competitors impressing the judges with their style and maneuvers.
"It's really tough, there are some pretty strong onshores," said reigning World Champion Harley Ingleby. "The bank seems like it is there and it's shoulder high waves so it is definitely contestable."
By Friday, there will be a change for the better with 1.5 metre swell with offshore winds. Conditions will be ideal for this part of the coast, just in time for some dynamic action in the weekend finals.
In the Men's Qualifying Series, Ingleby was too good for Coolaroy, NSW, up-and-comer William Crowe. Harley said, "Obviously getting through I'm pretty happy, Will Crowe is probably one of the strongest up and coming guys in the pro ranks in Australia right now, so I knew it was going to be a really hard heat. I'm stoked to get through."
In the best heat of the day, Sunshine Coast's Nic Jones was knocked out by Edouard Delpero from France. It was a very tight and competitive heat with both longboarding professionals performing exceptionally well but with a 50 percent progression division, one of these very talented surfers could not go all the way.
The women's draw was just as exciting. In a tight contest, World Champion Chelsea Williams scored 12 against fellow local, Erin Dark, who scored a 10.13. Williams said, "Conditions were tricky, you have got to be the lucky one out there to pin the right wave."