Day 2 of the Komunity Project Great Lakes Pro pres. by Rockstar Energy drink has been completed in clean, two-to-four foot building surf. The day brought with it the big names and even bigger upsets with some top seeds exiting the contest.
With the wind blowing from the south, directly into the left-handers, all eyes were on Heat 1 of Men's Round 3, which featured Brazilian aerial sensation Yago Dora (BRA), who was bound to take advantage of the perfect aerial conditions. The heat was being dominated by form surfer Ethan Ewing with Dora needing a score to move into second and progress. Then, as predicted, Dora raced down a left-breaking set wave, hit the closeout section at pace and threw a full-rotation air reverse, which was scored a near-perfect 9.50 to secure a spot in the next round.
"I hadn't really done that much all heat so when I saw that ramp knew I had to go big," Dora said. "I came here a few years ago to Boomerang and had such good time, we got really sick waves so to be back here and competing is really cool. There are so many good surfers here, it's hard to make heats so I'm glad I got through."
Another competitor who has travelled to Boomerang on a freesurfing trip in the past is Hawaiian Koa Smith (HAW). Smith's experience surfing the waves in this area showed as he comfortably won his heat with a good mixture of traditional and aerial surfing.
"Boomerang is such a beautiful place, out in the bush with no one around and beautiful blue water, it's sick to be back here especially now the waves are picking up," Smith said. "I came to Australia for the Manly and Newcastle contests so to have this for a bit of a warmup and get the contest flow going, so it's sick we have some fun waves to compete in."
Teenage ripper Lucy Callister (AUS) found herself in the daunting position of coming up against former WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitor Pauline Ado. Callister waited patiently until taking two righthanders in a row that both offered a clean, open wall for the young Queenslander to go to town on, posting a modest heat total of 13.25 (out of a possible 20) to win the heat.
"It was a slow start for everyone in that heat, you really had to get lucky," Callister said. "I was pretty nervous about coming up against Pauline Ado, she rips so hard, anything could have happened. I'm really happy I was in the spot for a couple of good waves."
Coolangatta's Quinn Bruce looked in great form in his Round 3 heat posting a near-excellent 8.35 on a beautiful lefthander. Bruce was able to fit in three big turns to take the lead and progress to Round 4 while knocking Dale Lovelock, 2015 Australasia QS Champion, out of the contest in the process.
"That was a tough heat," Bruce said. "Everyone was getting sick waves at the start and I couldn't really find one, then there was a lull so I freaked out a bit, then luckily there was a set and I got that 8.00. This has been awesome here at Boomerang, definitely the best waves I've had in a comp for a while."
After a seven-year hiatus from competitive surfing, local surfer Mel Bartz who was awarded the Boomerang Boardriders Club wildcard donned the competition jersey once again. She was slow to get going finding herself needing two scores to progress to Round 3. With only a minute left, Bartz took off on a right nailing a couple of big turns earning her a 6.75. The score wasn't enough but showed she can still mix it with the best.
"It was really nerve-racking surfing against these girls," she said. "I'm stoked I got that wave at the end otherwise my score would have been so low. It's so good having this contest at Boomerang, there's a bunch of local kids here enjoying the entertainment. This is usually a pretty quiet town which is how we like it, but to have a big event like this here for the week is really cool, everyone is loving it."