Ethan Ewing (AUS) and Macy Callaghan (AUS) have taken out the Burleigh Pro presented by Bruce Lynton Land Rover in tough conditions at one of the world's most iconic point breaks on the Gold Coast. An exciting day for the young Australian stable-mates claiming their first ever World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) victories.
With on-shore winds and small two-foot waves, Ewing was methodical posting the highest single wave score of the contest, a near perfect 9.75 (out of a possible 10) with three huge fin release turns. He then backed it up with an 8.50 ride leaving his rivals needing huge scores to get back in the game.
"This is the biggest win of my career I'm so stoked," Ewing said. "The conditions weren't that great today so I just lowered my expectations. I knew I had to get a good start and managed to find a couple of fun one's and get a couple of decent scores. When Blake (Thornton) got that last one I didn't know what score he needed so that was pretty nerve racking but fortunately for me he came just short."
Trailing Ewing for the majority of the heat in second place was Maroubra's Blake Thornton (AUS). Thornton's time on the WSL Championship Tour showed in his composure at the end of the heat when he was left needing a near perfect 9.26, Thornton took off on a set wave throwing everything at it to score a 9.00, just short of the score required.
"I knew that last wave was going to be a good one," Thornton said. "I got a bit stuck behind the section at the start which was annoying because I would have got the score if that hadn't happened. Ethan got off to such a big lead early the fact I got that close at the end was an accomplishment in itself."
Callaghan was slow to get going in the Final, which was controlled by Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) for the first 20 minutes. Callaghan was then able to find a set wave that offered up two sections for her to throw down powerful rail turns. Once she had the lead she posted two more solid scores to finish with a heat total of 15.50. Callaghan came into this contest in form after taking out the Subway Pro Junior Gold Coast last week, making her first ever QS victory even sweeter.
"I can't believe it, I'm so stoked," Callaghan said. "I've never won a QS so this is just awesome. I had such a slow start to the heat so I was pretty nervous. Not having any priority made it pretty tough out there, there was a bit of hassling going on but that's just all part of it. I'm looking forward to getting to Cabarita and hopefully continuing my form."
Callaghan narrowly overcame Gold Coaster Ellie-Jean Coffey who surfed well but came just short of taking the win.
"I'm glad to come here and put on a good performance in tough conditions," Coffey said. "But at the same time second is also the hardest result to handle because I came so close to winning. It's okay though, I'm really happy for Macy (Callaghan), she's a sweet girl and she surfed really well."