Imaikalani deVault of Hawaii surfs in Heat 5 of the Round of 24 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 22, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

  • Women’s Quarterfinals Take Shape at Manly 
  • CT Cut Victims Bounce Back at GWM Sydney Surf Pro 
  • CT Hopefuls Continue Charge Through the Draw 
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Jett Schilling of the United States surfs in Heat 4 of the Round of 24 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 22, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Beatriz Ryder/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 seen another massive day of competition with the men’s Round of 24 and six heats of the women’s Round of 16 being completed in bumpy two-to-three foot waves at Manly Beach. The draw is starting to take shape as the field has been further narrowed to only 16 men and 10 women with only two days left until the event winner’s are crowned for 2022. 

First Six Women’s Quarterfinalists Decided at GWM Sydney Surf Pro 

The second heat of the women’s Round of 16 was an exciting matchup between Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) and San Clemente up and comer Sawyer Linblad (USA) with the pair going wave for wave and score for score in the peaky conditions. Linblad looked solid but was unable to find a finish where Tomoda-Bannert could, leaving the Hawaiian to take the heat and progress into the Quarterfinals where she will come up against event standout Luana Silva (HAW). 

“I knew that was going to be a tough heat and I’m relieved to get through,” Tomoda-Bannert “Sawyer’s a great surfer and when she caught that final ride I was very nervous that she’d get the score, but she fell just short thankfully – I’m ready for the Quarterfinals, my surfing and equipment all feel great and I’m confident.” 

Sarah Baum (ZAF) has been gaining momentum throughout this event and her win over Hawaii’s Moana Jones-Wong (HAW) sees her through to the Quarterfinals. On Baum’s opening ride in today’s heat she displayed a series of powerful and precise top-to-bottom turns which were rewarded with an excellent 8.00 point score and that ride was decisive in her taking the win over Jones-Wong.

“That first wave was really good for me, I thought I was too deep on the take off but it actually panned out well, allowed two good sections and I got my best score,” Baum said. “I have a great support team here, they help me a lot and I’m looking forward to these final two days and getting a great result.”  

The other four women’s Quarterfinalists decided today at Manly included Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), Nikki van Dijk (AUS) and Southern California’s Alyssa Spencer (USA) who was on fire today, dispatching of form surfer Macy Callaghan (AUS) with a super impressive performance at Manly. Spencer posted an excellent heat total of 16.00 for an awesome display of frontside and backside surfing in the low-tide conditions.

Alyssa Spencer of the United States after surfing in Heat 6 of the Round of 32 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 22, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)

“Breaking into the Quarterfinals, I’ve only done it one other time so it definitely feels good to get past that ninth-place,” said Spencer. “It felt nice to open up on a couple waves. I feel like I hadn’t really done that yet in this event. It definitely ups my level and I knew I’d have to drop big scores against (Macy) so I knew I’d have to wait for a good wave.”

Cut CT Surfers Dominate The Day at Manly Beach  

After finishing in fifth place on the 2021 Championship Tour Rankings and claiming the coveted title of Rookie of the Year, it was a shock to see Morgan Cibilic (AUS) miss the Mid-season Cut and fall from the CT to the CS less than 12 months later. Today at Manly, Cibilic continued to bounce back from the disappointment, posting the third highest heat total of the day with an excellent 16.00 point two-wave total. Ciblic’s precise and lightning quick backhand was on full display as he booked himself a spot in the Round of 16 at the Sydney Surf Pro.

“That was a great heat for me to win today,” Ciblic said. “The last few heats, I haven’t really been that well prepared for the heats but I made an effort to get back to the basics, prepare properly and well,  the results are there and going forward I will remain focused.” 

The main competitor to out score Cibilic today at Manly was his fellow Novacastrian Ryan Callinan (AUS) who posted a 16.77 heat total to comfortably win his heat. Callinan’s total included a 9.00 point ride for a massive full rotation air-reverse to the flats. 

A former winner here at Manly, Deivid Silva (BRA) knows what it takes to get a CT qualification campaign underway in the small shifting peaks of Manly. The super quick goofy-footer put on a frontside, rail surfing clinic to post his mid-range score and progress into the Round of 16 and guarantee a keeper result before leaving Australia. 

“I have won this event before (2018) and I feel I can win again,” said Silva. “The ocean conditions are very hard but these waves are really similar to what I surf on my home beaches in Brazil so I know I can surf well here, my equipment is specialised for these waves so let’s go for these final days.”

Other standouts included reigning event winner Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) who took a commanding win in his Round of 24 heat as well as Michael Rodrigues (BRA) who again posted an excellent heat total with his speed and finesse on the rail. Imaikalani deVault (HAW) also continued his charge towards Finals Day and towards Championship Tour requalification with another strong showing at Manly Beach today. 

Michael Rodrigues of Brazil surfs in Heat 2 of the Round of 24 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 22, 2022 at Manly Beach, NSW, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

CT Hopefuls Continue to Go Big in Sydney 

Northern Beaches duo Jordy Lawler (AUS) and Dylan Moffat (AUS) continued their charge towards Finals Day, both booking themselves a spot in the Round of 16 as Lawler looks to repeat his win from 2019 at this same beach. 

One of the world’s fastest developing surfing regions is Asia and the two Indonesian’s competing on this year’s Challenger Series are showcasing a window into the future of what we can expect from this talent pool of great surfers from great surfing locations. Rio Waida (IDN) and Ketut Agus (IDN) have both advanced to the final 16 surfers and the exciting pair have the moves to take on all comers in the coming days.

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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. 

Sophie McCulloch of Australia surfs in Heat 8 of the Round of 32 at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 22, 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.