Well, that’s a wrap. The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and Sydney Women’s Pro signalled the end of an Aussie QS leg held across a variety of NSW beachbreaks. It’s early days, sure, but there was enough ratings points on offer for some surfers to make a statement.

Matt Banting Winds Back The Clock

Matt Banting has turned back the clock to 2014 when the Port Macquarie surfer was almost untouchable on the QS on the way to finishing 2nd. Three years of injury, which led to being dropped by his major sponsor, however curtailed what many thought would be a long CT career. Early this year however his edits filmed near home proved he was back to his electric best. Razor sharp turns and effortless completions don’t need stickers to look good. A win at Boomerang, Final in Avoca and Semis in Newcastle and Manly now see him primed for qualification, with over 10,000 points in the bag and five QS10,000 still remaining. Finally it looks like we will see his incredible potential realised on the big stage. 

Jaddy Does It The Right Way Round… For Once

Over Jadson Andre’s nine years on the CT we have been used to see him battling for qualification to the very end. Most years have finished with him in floods of tears on Sunset having scored the 4.3 he needed to ensure his place. This year though with three Finals and two wins on the QS, he’s already qualified before the CT has even kicked off. With no pressure now on his CT form we might see the 29-year-old Brazilian have his best ever year on tour. 

Jaddy big early season effort has paid off. WSL

Isabella Nichols

Veterans Sally Fitzgibbons and Alissa Quizon may have won the Finals of the big QS6000 events, but both times they beat the form surfer of the Australian leg, Isabella Nichols. The 21-year-old former World Junior Champ has finished just outside the top 20 in the QS in the last two years, but in 2019 has clearly made massive strides in reaching CT level. Both Fitzgibbons and Quizon were effusive in praise for the Sunshine Coaster, and not just for her surfing, but her overall positive attitude as well. She now stands one decent result away from qualification and a huge career in the sport. 

Isabella is on track to be the next Austrlian woman to represent her country on tour. WSL/Dunbar

Jordy Lawler Likes A Podium

In 2018 Jordy Lawler surfed 21 QS events and scraped together 4,425 points. In Manly he sured one and snaffled 6,000. However this is Lawler’s third QS win (he won a couple of QS1000 last year) which shows the North Narrabeen local knows where the podium is. And after a few years struggling for points, he now has his dream within grasp. “I’ve worked my whole life to be standing here on this stage right here so to be doing it now feels surreal," Lawler said afterwards. “This has done a heap for my confidence and all I want to do now is to qualify for the CT and now I really believe I can.”

A Bigger Result Than Pipe?

After winning the Volcom Pipe Pro Jack Robinson talked to Tracks about just how serious he was about CT qualification. His efforts in Brazil straight after however didn’t add to his points tally. It added weight to the views held by some that Robinson won’t be able to get big results in shitty QS conditions. His Semifinal appearance in Newcastle therefore was perhaps a bigger statement than his Pipe win. Robinson showed that in marginal conditions he still has the firepower to mix it with and beat the QS system. Two early results add credence to his CT credentials and if he can be, at the very least, in the mix by Hawaii we may need to take Robinson’s CT campaign as serious as he is. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Passing through the office this morning, so happy to be home after all the adventures 🕺🏼. @gopro

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