Hiroto Ohhara and Holly Wawn have taken top honors at the 2017 Komunity Project Central Coast Pro presented by Rockstar after another day of playful beach break waves at Avoca.
Hiroto Ohhara rampaged through the entire event, consistently posting high scores for his eclectic aerial repertoire. The Japanese natural-footer's performance culminated in the Final with him posting two scores in the excellent range (eight and above) to eventually take the victory over Maroubra surfer, Monty Tait. This is Ohhara's first victory since taking out the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach pier back in 2015.
"It's been two years since I've won an event, so this feels amazing," said Ohhara. "The waves have been pumping all week and I'm so happy to get a victory in waves like this. I would have liked to go one heat further at the Australian Open of Surfing at Manly, but I got eliminated in the Semis. Overall I'm stoked with the way my Australian leg went."
Monty Tait put on a valiant display of surfing over the course of the Final heat against Ohara, relying on his trademark bread-and-butter snaps and carves to post two solid scores in the eight point range. Tait remained within striking distance in the heat, only to fall on one critical turn in the dying minutes that could have potentially handed him the score. Nevertheless, Tait claims this result is one of the best of his career to date.
"This is definitely one of the highlights of my career for sure. I almost started crying on the podium," said Tait. "I knew I had to get a wave straight away as I knew Hiroto was always quick to get the ball rolling. I just wanted to stay busy until I found the rhythm. I'll be back at work next week now and start saving for a few more comps later in the year."
After a potentially career-ending car accident last year, Holly Wawn returned to take the top spot in the Women's division today. The natural-footer tore apart the punchy waves on offer, posting a notable 14.50 heat total to get the nod ahead of former Championship Tour competitor, Claire Bevilacqua.
"I've only just started competing again this year, so to get a win feels great," said Wawn. "I had a pretty gnarly car accident last year and broke my arm and dislocated my shoulder, so it's been almost six months worth of recovery and I have an arm full of metal. But it's a good feeling to be back surfing heats, especially when the waves are like this."
After blowing minds in the and Quarterfinals and Semis, West Australia's Claire Bevilacqua failed to find the same form in the Final against Wawn. Bevilacqua still posted a respectable 13.70 heat total (out of a possible 20 points), but was unable to find the necessary 7.51 wave to take away Wawn's lead.
"It's always nice to make a Final, but unfortunately I peaked in the Quarters and Semis," said Bevilacqua. "This has been the craziest run of swell and the waves have been incredible the whole event. Next year I'm going to bring some bigger boards for sure."