Sun shines on Gallows at the bcu Australian Surf Festival
THE bcu Australian Surf Festival kicked off in a fine fashion with the first rounds of the open divisions in the Australian Surfmasters titles played out in clean two-foot peaks.
Hayden Blair (Mollymook) was a dominant performer in the Open Mens division, smashing out an eclectic mix of powerful backhand manoeuvres, and as a result posted a solid 16.5 heat total (out of a possible 20 points).
The total left all fellow surfers chasing two-wave combinations of scores to snatch Blair's lead away.
Not to be outdone, Samba Mann (Coolangatta) posted a respectable 15.25 heat total for a chain of giant forehand hooks.
Consequently, the Gold Coast goofy-footer left his nearest rival, Nick Callister (Palm Beach), chasing a near perfect 9.55 wave score to take his win away.
Other round one Open Mens standouts included: Russ Molony (North Entrance), Harrison Martin (Cronulla), Shane Campbell (Cronulla) and Chris Zaffis (Angourie), who all posted heat totals in excess of 12.00 points.
Claire Bevilacqua (Yallingup) showed why she was a former WSL World Tour competitor, shining in the Open Womens division.
The West Australian natural-footer posted an excellent 8.50 wave score (out of a possible 10 points), as well as a 7.50 to get the upper-hand against her opposition and book her spot straight into the Open Womens quarter finals.
Other Open Womens round one heat winners included: Macy Callaghan (Avoca), Codie Klein (Kingscliff), Lucy Callister (Palm Beach) and Ashlee Spence (Kingscliff).
Chris Zaffis was awarded the bcu money turn for a mammoth backhand crack in the first round of the Open Men, winning a $100 bank account.
Sunday action is at Gallows with the final rounds of the Open Men, Open Women and Over-35 Womens with all champions being crowned in the afternoon.