Competition is off and running at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro presented by GWM, Stop No. 1 of the 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series with the men’s and women’s Opening Rounds being completed in super fun two-to-three foot surf at Snapper Rocks.
Pictured: Local hopeful Sheldon Simkus (AUS) posted the highest single wave of the opening day at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Presented by GWM today. Credit: © WSL / Miers
The World’s Championship Tour hopefuls put on epic performances in an effort to progress into the seeded rounds of competition which will see the event big names hit the water.
Great surf is expected to hit the Gold Coast in the coming days, making for exciting conditions for the first Challenger Series event of the year.
Erin Brooks and Adin Masencamp Dominate Day 1
Fifteen-year-old phenom Erin Brooks (CAN) made her Challenger Series debut today at Snapper Rocks and her performance did not disappoint. The exciting young goofy-footer took a dominant win in the last heat of the Round of 48 to book herself a spot in the Round of 32. Brooks' speed and flow on her backside was the perfect match for Snapper Rocks as she blasted her way down the line to post an impressive two-wave total of 13.37 (out of a possible 20). She will now compete in Heat 8 of the Round of 32 where she will take on Isabella Nichols (AUS), Sawyer Lindblad, and local hopeful Kobie Enright (AUS).
“I’m just trying to learn how to surf heats and get some experience so getting a heat win is a bonus really,” Brooks said. “It’s also my first time surfing Snapper in a contest and I had such a great time. It’s such an amazing wave and having no one out is a dream. Getting another heat out here is so exciting because it means more perfect waves with no one out.”
South African surfer Adin Masencamp (RSA) looked right at home on the long walls of Snapper Rocks. Masencamp got his campaign off to the perfect start, snagging a set wave in the opening minute and surfing it excellently to post an 8.00 point ride (out of a possible 10). He then backed it up with a 7.17 for a heat total of 15.17, the highest of the opening day.
“It was pretty awesome to get that first wave – we were all hustling for it,” Masencamp said. “It was pretty slow out there so I knew I needed to get a quick start. I then backed it up which felt pretty good. It’s so perfect out there that it’s hard not to go for every wave. Once I got those two scores I took off on a few and had a bit of fun. It was amazing to be out there and to have this platform. This is one of the best waves in the world so it’s pretty awesome to have this event. This is really special to be out there with no one out.”
Other up-and-comers who stood out on Day 1 of competition at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro included Ellie Harrison (AUS), Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN), Moana Jones-Wong (HAW) and John Mark Tokong (PHL) who is the first Filipino competitor on the Challenger Series. European Regional Qualifying Series winner Yolanda Hopkins (POR) also took a convincing win on Day 1 to progress into the Round of 32.
Current WSL World Junior Champions Jarvis Earle (AUS) and Francisca Veselko (POR) also progressed through their opening heats to move into the seeded rounds at Snapper Rocks.
Sheldon Simkus Leads Local Charge at Snapper Rocks
2022 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro runner-up Sheldon Simkus (AUS) picked up where he left off at Snapper Rocks, posting an excellent 8.50 on his opening wave. Simkus then backed it up to take a comfortable heat win, displaying his strong connection with the waves at his local break, a spot where he is regarded as one of the best.
“I just felt like it was another day down at my local spot,” Simkus said. “It’s a beautiful day down here and the waves are great. It’s been an awesome few weeks of waves here on the Gold Coast and it looks like the next few days are going to be really fun which is great for the contest. Knowing it’s going to be good is a great incentive to keep making heats and keep getting empty-pumping Snapper. It’s such a good community we have here and it’s so based around the ocean so having this event here is really important, especially for all the kids who come down and see it all. Hopefully, I can make it to Finals Day and give them all something to cheer about.”
Other local hopefuls who progressed through the opening day of competition include Kobie Enright (AUS) and Sierra Kerr (AUS). They both made late charges in their heats to move into second spot and advance to the Round of 32.Competitive Veterans Assert Authority on Early Rounds of Competition
Former CT star Silvana Lima (BRA) was the standout performer of the women’s Round of 48, surfing with speed and power to earn a 14.57 two-wave total that included an excellent 8.00 ride on her first wave. Lima has a great history with Snapper Rocks having posted a perfect 10 here in the past with a massive air-reverse. Lima will be hoping for more impressive performances as she looks to get her re-qualification campaign off to a perfect start.
“I have a great history with this place and it feels great to be back,” Lima said. “There are a lot of Brazilians living here on the Gold Coast so there is always great support. It is also one of the best waves in the world so it is always a pleasure to compete here. I felt good in that heat but feel like I can give more so I’m looking forward to getting more heats in perfect waves.”
Japanese representative Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) has had success at the Challenger Series level before with a win at the U.S. Open of Surfing back in 2015 but has struggled to find another major result since. Ohhara has aspirations to represent Japan on the elite Championship Tour. He got his qualification campaign off to a great start, comfortably winning his Round of 80 heat with a two-wave total of 14.33. Ohhara’s frontside rail game and technique looked to be a perfect match for Snapper Rocks. He’ll now shift his focus to the Round of 64 and his matchup with past and present CT competitors Caio Ibelli (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA) and Lucas Silveira (BRA).
The next call for competition to recommence will be tomorrow, Wednesday, May 10, at 7:15 a.m. AEST for a possible 7:35 a.m. start.
2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by GWM Women's Round of 48 Results:
HEAT 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.23 DEF. Sierra Kerr (AUS) 8.83, Zoe McDougall (HAW) 8.60, Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW) 3.67
HEAT 2: Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 13.73 DEF. Nyxie Ryan (AUS) 10.44, Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.20, Dominic Barona (ECU) 9.00
HEAT 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.33 DEF. Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 13.04, Bella Kenworthy (USA) 12.23, Daniella Rosas (PER) 10.60
HEAT 4: Ellie Harrison (AUS) 13.53 DEF. Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) 12.26, Minami Nonaka (JPN) 9.00, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 8.67
HEAT 5: Tessa Thyssen (FRA) 11.10 DEF. Sol Aguirre (PER) 9.74, Sara Wakita (JPN) 9.50, Zoe Benedetto (USA) 7.33
HEAT 6: Carolina Mendes (POR) 11.90 DEF. Francisca Veselko (POR) 9.34, Anon Matsuoka (JPN) 8.30, Leilani McGonagle (CRC) 8.10
HEAT 7: Yolanda Hopkins (POR) 12.94 DEF. Kobie Enright (AUS) 12.77, Eweleiula Wong (HAW) 11.87, Ella McCaffray (USA) 11.33
HEAT 8: Erin Brooks (CAN) 13.37 DEF. Zahli Kelly (AUS) 10.06, Natasha Van Greunen (RSA) 8.50, Jessie Van Niekerk (RSA) 6.27
2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by GWM Men's Round of 80 Results:
HEAT 1: Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 14.33 DEF. Jarvis Earle (AUS) 11.20, Kian Martin (SWE) 6.06, Jabe Swierkocki (USA) 5.67
HEAT 2: Adin Masencamp (RSA) 15.17 DEF. Josh Burke (BRB) 12.00, Eli Hanneman (HAW) 11.97, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 9.26
HEAT 3: Sheldon Simkus (AUS) 14.83 DEF. George Pittar (AUS) 12.46, Luke Thompson (RSA) 10.60, Daiki Tanaka (JPN) 9.20
HEAT 4: John Mark Tokong (PHL) 10.26 DEF. Ryan Kainalo (BRA) 9.77, Jordan Lawler (AUS) 8.67, Cooper Davies (AUS) 7.53
HEAT 5: Miguel Tudela (PER) 12.33 DEF. Shion Crawford (HAW) 12.33, Guillermo Satt (CHL) 12.00, Connor Slijpen (RSA) 5.47
HEAT 6: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 10.80 DEF. Dimitri Poulos (USA) 10.16, Tiago Carrique (FRA) 8.63, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 7.73
HEAT 7: Jackson Bunch (HAW) 13.83 DEF. Brodi Sale (HAW) 12.57, Joshua Moniz (HAW) 10.00, Daniel Emslie (RSA) 9.77
HEAT 8: Leo Casal (BRA) 11.97 DEF. Oney Anwar (INA) 11.17, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 10.70, Alister Reginato (AUS) 7.90
2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by GWM Women's Round of 32 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Mia Huppatz (AUS) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Nyxie Ryan (AUS)
HEAT 2: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Ariane Ochoa (EUK) vs. Sierra Kerr (AUS)
HEAT 3: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) vs. India Robinson (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN)
HEAT 4: Macy Callaghan (AUS) vs. Sarah Baum (RSA) vs. Ellie Harrison (AUS) vs. Moana Jones Wong (HAW)
HEAT 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) vs. Tessa Thyssen (FRA) vs. Francisca Veselko (POR)
HEAT 6: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Vahine Fierro (FRA) vs. Carolina Mendes (POR) vs. Sol Aguirre (PER)
HEAT 7: Teresa Bonvalot (POR) vs. Luana Silva (BRA) vs. Yolanda Hopkins (POR) vs. Zahli Kelly (AUS)
HEAT 8: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Sawyer Lindblad (USA) vs. Erin Brooks (CAN) vs. Kobie Enright (AUS)
2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by GWM Men's Round of 64 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Lucas Silveira (BRA) vs. Hiroto Ohhara (JPN)
HEAT 2: Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS) vs. Kade Matson (USA) vs. Jarvis Earle (AUS)
HEAT 3: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) vs. Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) vs. Adin Masencamp (RSA)
HEAT 4: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Frederico Morais (POR) vs. Evan Geiselman (USA) vs. Josh Burke (BRB)
HEAT 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Mikey McDonagh (AUS) vs. Sheldon Simkus (AUS)
HEAT 6: Jackson Baker (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Adur Amatriain (EUK) vs. George Pittar (AUS)
HEAT 7: Carlos Munoz (CRC) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. John Mark Tokong (PHL)
HEAT 8: Joao Chianca (BRA) vs. Joel Vaughan (AUS) vs. Jett Schilling (USA) vs. Ryan Kainalo (BRA)
HEAT 9: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Kalani Ball (AUS) vs. Timothe Bisso (FRA) vs. Miguel Tudela (PER)
HEAT 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Dylan Moffat (AUS) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA) vs. Shion Crawford (HAW)
HEAT 11: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Edgard Groggia (BRA) vs. Justin Becret (FRA) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA)
HEAT 12: Ketut Agus (INA) vs. Lucca Mesinas (PER) vs. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) vs. Dimitri Poulos (USA)
HEAT 13: Rio Waida (INA) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Kauli Vaast (FRA) vs. Jackson Bunch (HAW)
HEAT 14: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Eithan Osborne (USA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA) vs. Brodi Sale (HAW)
HEAT 15: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Cole Houshmand (USA) vs. Leo Casal (BRA)
HEAT 16: Connor O'Leary (AUS) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Oney Anwar (INA) Watch LIVE
The Challenger Series will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel. Also, check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro is proudly supported by Boost Mobile, GWM, Major Events Gold Coast, YETI, Rip Curl, Bonsoy, Harvey Norman, Bond University, Oakberry, Coopers, S&S Group, Bailey Ladders, and Bioglan.