Moana Jones Wong of Hawaii surfs in Heat 5 of the Round of 64 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

  • Hawaii’s Next Crop Shines at Manly Beach 
  • Mixed Results For Event Top Seeds  
  • Manly Continues to Deliver For Women’s Round of 64
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Sawyer Lindblad of United States surfs in Heat 1 of the Round of 64 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

The GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl, the second stop of the 2022 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS) , has enjoyed yet another great day of super clean, high-performance two-to-three foot waves at the famous Manly Beach. High scores were posted consistently throughout the day as the scene was set for a huge weekend of surf action. Today saw the completion of the opening rounds for men and women. 

North Shore Duo Rule Australia’s Northern Beaches 

Hawaiian surfers dominated the women’s Round of 64 with Luana Silva (HAW) leading the charge with the second highest heat total of the event so far. Silva’s 16.16 two-wave combination came from an epic combination of swooping rail-turns and vertical re-entries. Silva took the top spot in her heat with Kiwi veteran Paige Hareb progressing in second spot. 

“That was a dream start to that heat for me getting an 8.33 on my first wave” said Silva. “Small beach breaks aren’t exactly what I’m used to coming from Hawaii and I feel it’s an area of my competitive surfing I need to work on and I’m stoked with how that heat went for me – The waves are fun.”

Silva is part of an exciting bunch of young Hawaiian’s rapidly climbing the ranks which included Moana Jones-Wong (HAW) and Zoe McDougall(HAW) who all advanced impressively while Bettylou Sakura-Johnson (HAW) will surf her opening round heat tomorrow morning. Jones-Wong, known as one of the greatest females to surf Pipeline and the current Pipeline Champion, was a standout today, showing the world she can match it with the best in performance waves as well, posting a 15.83 two-wave total to take out her opening heat. 

“I was really nervous coming into that heat,” Jones-Wong said. “Most people believe I can only surf well at Pipeline and that I don’t have the turns and moves in smaller waves so I’m really pleased to put that on show today and take the win and post excellent scores.” 

Mixed Results for Women’s Top Seeds In the round of 64

Molly Picklum of Australia after surfing in Heat 8 of the Round of 64 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

Australia’s Molly Picklum (AUS) is fast becoming a crowd favourite as she consistently posts impressive heat wins along with brilliant scores. She placed runner-up just last week at the opening Challenger Series event on the Gold Coast and she opened today with a powerful heat win which included both the day’s top scoring ride (9.27 out of a possible 10) and the highest winning two-wave total of 16.34.

“I was quite nervous going into that heat but when I got that great score I started to feel a lot better, ” said Picklum. “Getting the first heat out of the way and scoring well has me confident now and I just want to build on that heat and gain momentum and aim for another great result.”

Other high seeds who performed well included former CT competitors Macy Callaghan (AUS), Nikki van Dijk (AUS) and Keely Andrew (AUS) as well as Zahli Kelly (AUS) and Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) who all progressed into the Round of 32. 

Yolanda Hopkins (PRT), Bronte Macaulay(AUS)  and Leilani McGonagle (CRI) are all surfers inside the top 20 who unfortunately dropped out of the draw today at Manly and will hope to put this throwaway result behind them as they shift their focus to the next event. 

Young USA sensation and current Challenger Series Rankings leader Caitlin Simmers (USA) attracted a lot of attention late in the day and the exciting young Californian cruised to a comfortable opening heat win. Simmers’ effortless backhand  style garnered her a mid-range heat total of 12.57 to claim the heat win. 

“I’m enjoying my time in Australia and my whole family are here and between events we used the time to road trip the coast here and score a variety of waves which has been great,” Simmers said. “Apart from surfing I’ve also been skating a lot – there’s a lot of skate parks here.”

Jorgann Couzinet Leads International Charge in Remaining Heats of Round of 96

After a solid showing at the recent Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) has come to Manly hoping to lock in a keeper result to leave Australia with as he has his sights firmly set on Champion Tour qualification by the end of this season. The Frenchman got his campaign at Manly off to a fantastic start, posting a 15.00 point two-wave combination to take a commanding heat win in the final heat of the day for the men. Couzinet was happy to see his countrymen Thomas Debierre (FRA) and Gatien Delehaye(FRA) also progressing through the Round of 96.

”That was a stressful heat in the end,” said Couzinet. “I had the excellent wave score but I had a very poor second required score and I knew I needed to find a wave – luckily it came to me and I got the score to secure the win. – “I top scored for Round 1 here and on the Gold Coast last week but I don’t want to drop out in Round two here like I did on the Gold Coast – My focus has to be to keep progressing – I’m surfing well, my equipment feels great and I need to keep progressing.”

Leonardo Fioravanti of Italy surfs in Heat 20 of the Rounf of 96 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

Reigning event winner here at Manly Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) continued where he left off at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, taking an impressive heat win in the Round of 96. Fioravanti will be joined in the Round of 48 by Japanese competitor Taichi Wakita (JPN) who also put down a solid performance early on the second day of competition to win his Round of 96 heat.  

Other competitors progressing through included Gold Coast duo Liam O’Brien (AUS) and Sheldon Simkus (AUS), Brazilian dynamo Mateus Herdy(BRA) and former CT competitor 
Deivid Silva (BRA). 

The 2022 GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Rip Curl Challenger Series and WSL Longboard Tour events will run at Manly Beach through May 24, 2022. For more information, please visist WorldSurfLeauge.com or check the free WSL App.  

This event is proudly supported by GWM, Rip Curl, Destination NSW, Bond University, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Oakberry, Oakley, Dometic Outdoor, Coopers, Northern Beaches Council, Havaianas, Bailey Ladders, and FCS. 

Mateus Herdy of Brazil surfs in Heat 23 of the Round of 96 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 20, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Watch LIVE
All Challenger Series events will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition’s Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.

The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  

Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com

WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.

The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.