Rodrigues and Callinan Continue to Set the Pace at Manly
Former Championship Tour competitor Michael Rodrigues (BRA) continued his epic run of form in 2022, progressing into the Round of 24 here at Manly, posting another excellent two-wave combination of 16.00 to win his Round of 48 heat. Rodrigues looked fast and lively in the small, onshore conditions to take a convincing win to despatch of Former CT stars Julian Wilson (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW).
That was a tough heat but I felt good because conditions today are very similar to my home beach, Rodrigues said. It was hard for me competing against Julian Wilson, hes a nice guy and for a long time hes been my idol, but in the heat I remained tough, didnt allow him to get a good wave under my priority and, well, you know - job done for me, I win and advance.
Unlike Rodrigues, Aussie hopeful Ryan Callinan (AUS) was an early victim at stop one of the Challenger Series on the Gold Coast, an early round loss that no one saw coming. After dropping below the Mid-season Cut and losing his spot on the Championship Tour, Callinan is a surfer all surf fans are expecting to find form at the CS level and find his way back onto the CT. Today, Callinan showed some of the flare he is known for to progress into the next round and closer to clinching a keeper result early in the season.
I actually dont mind surfing waves like today, said Callinan. For sure its tough but I stay positive, stay light on my feet and most importantly try and pick the right waves that give the best scoring potential - It worked for me today. Everything is feeling good so I'm confident I can keep this going.
Indonesian and San Clemente Upstarts Eye Off Career Best Results at Manly Beach
Kade Matson (USA) and Jett Schilling (USA) are leading a young crop of competitors coming out of professional surfing hotbed San Clemente in Southern California. After falling out of the draw early on the Gold Coast, the pair are keen to turn their seasons around with solid results here at Manly. With their good friend and fellow San Clemente local Crosby Colapinto (USA) falling out of the draw in the Round of 48 today, the pair were happy to both take the second progressing spots in their heats and continue flying the flag here at stop 2 on the Challenger Series.
Another pair of youngsters who have continued to cruise through the draw here at Manly are Indonesian duo Ketut Agus (IDN) and Rio Waida (IDN) who have both progressed into the Round of 24 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro. Waida finished in second place behind form surfer of the event Michael Rodrigues (BRA) while his good friend and countryman Agus finished in first, ahead of reigning event winner Leonardo Firoavanti (ITA) who snuck through in second place. Agus looks in good touch in the small soft conditions at Manly.
I am so happy to surf against Italian super star Leonardo Fioravanti, Agus said. Im learning and enjoying competing against great international surfers and for Indonesia this is great that both Rio (Waida) and myself are doing good here - there are many good surfers in Indonesia and its time for us to be surfing against the best world surfers - Lets go Indonesia.
Narrabeen duo Jordy Lawler (AUS) and Dylan Moffat (AUS) are another pair
of upstarts from the same hometown who continued to progress through the
draw here at Manly Beach, much to the delight of local fans on the beach.
Japanese representative Mahina Maeda (JPN) opened the womens Round of 32 with a solid heat win over Rachel Presti (GER) and Paige Hareb (NZL). With the tide dropping and onshore wind moderating, conditions were tough, but Maeda made the most of her opportunities, progressing with a mid-range two-wave total to the Round of 16 where she will take on event standout Luana Silva (HAW).
Other competitors that progressed into the Round of 16 on Saturday afternoon included Hawaiian trio Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW), Zoe McDougall (HAW) and Moana Jones Wong (HAW) as well as Sawyer Linblad (USA), Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Sarah Baum (ZAF).
Baum and Bonvalot progressed through the final heat of the day which saw the biggest upset of the day with event standout and current No. 2 on the Challenger Series rankings Molly Picklum (AUS) losing in the dying seconds. Picklum, who is fresh off a runner-up finish on the Gold Coast will need to reset as she looks to re-qualify for the elite CT by years end.