Hurley Australian Open of Surfing
World Surf League QS 6000
World Surf League JQS
Manly Beach, NSW Australia
7 - 15 February 2015
Laura Enever eliminates champ Stephanie Gilmore
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 February, 2015 - Manly Beach - The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing ran through Round 5 in both the men’s and women’s World Surf League QS6000 divisions. Top seeds were taken down by rising stars in the fight for a coveted Quarterfinal berth.
Mateia Hiquily (Tahiti) advanced through to the Quarterfinals after an impressive victory over Mick Fanning. Hiquily surfed fast and hard while Fanning struggled to pick off a good wave that would allow him to open up.
“I just tried to surf and enjoy myself — it’s a great opportunity to be in the water with Mick Fanning,” Hiquily said. “I don’t know what to say, he’s one of the best surfers in the world and I will always remember that heat.”
Carissa Moore © WSL/Dunbar
Laura Enever (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS) also caused an upset when she eliminated reigning six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). Enever capitalised when it counted, taking off on a set wave and executing two massive backhand blasts to net an 8.83 and a ticket into the Quarterfinals.
“I was lucky to find that one at the end that allowed me to do those two clean turns,” Enever said. “Steph (Gilmore) only needed a 9 at the end and she’s more than capable so I wasn’t thinking about winning until the very end. Today was the most relaxed I’ve been all event and now I’m into the Quarterfinals so I’m pretty happy.”
Ryan Callinan (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) eliminated No. 16 in the world Bede Durbidge (AUS) and in the process launched and landed the best aerial of the day. Callinan will now take on Brazil’s Jesse Mendes in tomorrow’s Quarterfinals.
Nikki van Dijk © WSL/Dunbar
“I haven’t made the Quarters in a big event in a while,” Callinan said. “It feels amazing to be getting big scores and I feel like I know what I need to do to win. This year I really wan to qualify for the Championship Tour — that’s my goal. I haven’t been doing many airs lately, but I had so much speed and there was a dreamy air section so I went for it.”
Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA/USA) and Jack Freestone (AUS) went toe to toe and blow for blow in one of the most exciting heats of the event thus far. Both surfers locked in two excellent rides, for technical aerials and critical turns, but it was Andino who took the win by less than half a point.
“Jack’s (Freestone) a really good surfer and I look up to him a lot,” Andino said. “I knew I was going to have to be on my game to win that one. It’s bad luck for him, to surf that good and still lose the heat. I’m glad to make it through to Finals day and hopefully it’s my day tomorrow.”
Bronte Macaulay (Margaret River, WA/AUS) is continuing to impress on this year’s QS, with a 5th and a 2nd place finish already locked into her 2015 account. Today she knocked Johanne Defay (FRA) out of the event to secure a Quarterfinal match-up against Tyler Wright (AUS).
“I’m really happy right now!” Macaulay said. “It feels great to be through to the Quarters because it’s probably the hardest QS field I’ve ever seen. I’m just really enjoying my surfing at the moment and when you’re having fun the results can go your way.”