Updated: Aug 18
The Quiksilver/ROXY Pro G-Land, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT) and the first competition following the Mid-season Cut, kicked off its opening day in super clean, three-to-five foot waves at the ‘Money Trees’ section of G-Land, the world-class left-hand stretch of reef located on the eastern tip of Java.
The competition ran the women’s and men’s Opening Rounds on a fairly level playing field as it was the first time the current CT surfers had ever competed in this location, except for the 11-time World Champion and 1995 event winner Kelly Slater (USA).
Carissa Moore (HAW) posted the highest two-wave combination of the opening day of competition at G-Land with a 17.16 (out of a possible 20). WSL / Dunbar
World No. 1 Brisa Hennessy and World No. 2 Carissa Moore Continue to Lead the CT
The second heat of the day saw three of the event favorites in Johanne Defay (FRA), ROXY wildcard Bronte Macaulay (AUS) and current rankings leader Brisa Hennessy (CRI) matchup for in mid-tide conditions with turns playing the biggest part in earning competitors scores.
With a slight wobble in the waves, all three competitors focussed on turns and the performances didn’t disappoint, with less than a point separating the trio.
Hennessy was able to clinch the win and progress into the Quarterfinals while Macaulay and Defay will battle it out in the Elimination Round.
“I think all the ladies are in the same boat here having a new experience,” Hennessy said. “Getting used to things here at G-Land, how far out it is, being in the middle of the jungle, it’s cool, just being able to disconnect and focus on yourself. I’m feeling really at home here. Growing up in Costa Rica, and spending time in Hawaii and Fiji, I feel like this place is a combination of all of those places. I’m just embracing all of the beauty here along with time with all of my fellow competitors. All the girls on tour are really rad and we are all really connected on land, then when we’re in the water it’s game time.
As the tide dropped, swell filled in and trade winds started to puff, G-Land began to show its potential with open tubes and long stretched out walls, much to the delight of five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who found the first tube ride of the event.
Moore tucked into a long tube before sneaking out for an 8.33 (out of a possible 10) to back up her 8.83, netting her an excellent two-wave total of 17.16, the highest of the opening day of competition.
“That was super fun out there,” Moore said. “I actually haven’t had any barrels here in the practice sessions but I have been watching a lot of videos and seeing what it can offer so I was really excited to see that one stand up so I could just set my line and hope for the best. It’s so fun to be surfing a left like this again. I feel like It might take me a while to get used to it but I’m feeling good and am excited to get back out there.”
Rio Waida Upsets World No. 1 Filipe Toledo
Current World No. 1 Filipe Toledo (BRA) had his opportunity to get one back on Indonesia’s Rio Waida (IDN) after he eliminated him early at the Corona Open Mexico at the end of the 2021 season when they matched up today in Heat 4 of the men’s Opening Round. Waida, who is fresh off a win at the recent GWM Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series event, comes into his home event in serious form, which he continued today, taking down Toledo once again as well as fancied goofy-footer Nat Young (USA).
Pictured: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) made an awesome return to form today in perfect left-handers. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar
Stephanie Gilmore and Tatiana Weston-Webb Claim Critical Opening Round Wins
After finishing the 2021 season at the inaugural Rip Curl WSL Finals in fifth and second place respectively, no one expected to see Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) only just scraping in above the Mid-season Cut at the Margaret River Pro.
Today at G-land, the pair got their season back on track, each booking themselves a spot in the Quarterfinals with impressive heat wins in the Opening Round.
In the heat immediately after Moore’s tube ride, Weston-Webb (BRA) also found some shade from the Javanese sunlight, pulling into a long tube before coming out and gouging two massive frontside hooks to post an excellent 8.67, the third-highest single wave of the opening day.
The first-ever women’s heat at G-Land witnessed seven-time WSL Champion Gilmore taking a narrow win over Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Californian veteran Courtney Conlogue (USA) in an all-natural footer matchup.
Not known for her prowess in lefts, Gilmore was happy to get the nod in her opening heat at the ROXY Pro as conditions slowly improved on opening day.
“I couldn’t really hear much out there and thought I was in third,” Gilmore said. “I thought I’d just enjoy being out there not knowing what was going on and just come in and get the result old-school style then when I was paddling in I heard the score and was really happy. That was a really big win for me as my backhand isn’t my strong point and I really want to get a solid result here. It’s so cool to be here. I’m so glad ROXY and Quiksilver and WSL have been able to put this on. The conditions aren’t the best at the moment but I think it will keep getting better all day. I don’t think anyone cares too much at the moment if it’s two-foot or ten, we’re all just so happy to be here.”
Two-time WSL Champion John John Florence Unfazed by Knee Injury
Having recovered from multiple injuries to both of his knees in recent years, the surfing world held its collective breath when John John Florence (HAW) arrived at his Opening Round heat in a massive knee brace.
The two-time World Champion had tweaked his MCL while free-surfing yesterday and put the brace on as a precaution and it didn’t show as he smashed huge backhand turns and critical floaters to comfortably win his heat and progress into the Round of 16.
"Unfortunately yesterday morning I kind of tweaked my left knee, maybe my MCL,” Florence said. “It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I was thinking about pulling out of the event then did some work with the medical staff then had a surf this morning and felt okay so decided to keep at it. I was so nervous before that heat because I still didn’t really know what it was going to feel like but it ended up feeling fine and having no pain so I’m really stoked to get the heat win and now I’m just really excited for the rest of the event. It’s amazing to be here in G-Land competing, the waves are perfect, light offshores, no one around, it’s special to be surfing out there basically on my own.”
ROXY Pro G-Land Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.40 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.90, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 8.30
HEAT 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 13.83 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.27, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.20
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.16 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 15.04, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.30
HEAT 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.17 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.67, Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.16
ROXY Pro G-Land Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
HEAT 3: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
Quiksilver Pro G-Land Opening Round Results:
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 13.37 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.67, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.33
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.54 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.34, Jackson Baker (AUS) 7.17
HEAT 3: John John Florence (HAW) 13.94 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 11.67, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.00
HEAT 4: Rio Waida (IDN) 11.83 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 11.66, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.80
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.16 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 9.67, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 6.53
HEAT 6: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.00 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 9.64, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 8.46
HEAT 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.77 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 11.37, Connor O'Leary (AUS) 10.07
HEAT 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.70 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 8.20, Callum Robson (AUS) 6.14
Quiksilver Pro G-Land Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
HEAT 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Connor O'Leary (AUS)
HEAT 5: Barron Mamiya (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Samuel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 7: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for more updates.