Takes a decisive win at Tuncurry.
Matt Banting has made good on his number one seed into the Mothernest Great Lakes Pro by winning the event in decisive fashion.
Competing for the first time in 2019, the former world tour surfer proved too classy for the rest of the field at the QS1,000, winning all but one of his heats comfortably before dominating good mate and childhood rival Cooper Chapman in the final.
‘To have a win at the start of the year at Forster is epic,’ he said. ‘It feels good, I haven’t had one in a couple of years.’
With wind and swell from Cyclone Oma battering the coast, the event was shifted from Boomerang Beach to Tuncurry for the last few days, and it paid off for the finals.
A dedicated local crew braved the glare on the beach to watch Banting and Chapman do battle in the pumping 4-5’ lefts, with a close opening exchange going Chapman’s way before Banting swung the momentum with a 9 on his very next wave.
From there, the Port Macquarie lad stayed busy under Chapman’s priority, slowly building his lead while his Narrabeen rival waited for an opportunity to strike back.
Chapman’s chance came in the form of a bomb in the last three minutes, but he was clobbered by the lip on his second turn and then had to watch Banting string together a seamless combo on the next wave for an 8 and the win.
‘I felt like I was in rhythm with the ocean and things came when I needed them to,’ Banting said afterwards.
Kiwi Ella Williams took out the women’s contest on Saturday, beating Tweed Coast youngster Zahli Kelly in blustery conditions in the final.
It was a strong event for surfers from the land of the long white cloud, with Kehu Butler and Billy Stairmand also making the semis of the men’s event.
The QS now moves to Avoca for the QS3,000 Vissla Central Coast Pro.