It was poor conditions at the Super Bank for finals day with rain and southerly winds. Waves were pretty average for Snapper which for the rest of the world means it was absolutely pumping.
This Challenger series event was not your usual second grade contest as many CT surfers entered the event following the Mid-Year Cut (MYC) and the new WSL contract clause. Plus, the desire of surfing Snapper with a few people out lured some of the world’s best competitors.
Wave-choice was super important today, there wasn’t perfect waves constantly coming round the point which we can expect from Snapper. Surfers had to choose the waves that would wall up all the way to Greenmount.
Here are some Tracks Highlights from the Gold Coast Pro:
Callum Robson is the Super Bank King
The CT rookie did not choose to take the week off and head to Bali in preparation for G-Land. Robson is having a stellar 2022 season and is continuing to shine at an elite level.
The world no.8 found himself in the final with Snapper local Sheldon Simkus after narrowly beating event standout American Nolan Rapoza on the buzzer.
Sheldon Simkus had the home crowd advantage with plenty of support from the Snapper Rocks Boardriders club. Sheldon was shredding all event, capitalising on his local knowledge and backing it up with CT level surfing.
The final was a close contest with Sheldon picking up an eight and two sevens in the first ten minutes. Callum would hit back scoring an 8.67 with his precise rail game and critical snaps. Robson would stay composed as he has all year and picked up a 7.40 as a backup.
Sheldon had an opportunity on his final wave, he surfed it well but fell going for a risky manoeuvre on the last section. The score was not enough, and Robson was victorious.
It was a long day for Callum who surfed four heats today, two of them were buzzer beater wins. Not only is the Evan’s Head local surfing exceptional to watch, his maturity level and calmness as a rookie continues to be impressive.
How does the clutch King not have a major sponsor?
Molly Picklum and Caitlin Simmers final went to the siren
These girls have quite the history, Caitlin Simmers forfeited her spot on the CT last year, which Molly Picklum ranked behind her at the time took with both hands. The duo would funnily enough find themselves in the final today.
It seems like Molly has flipped the switch after her radical manoeuvre at Margaret’s last week. Unfortunately, she was cut from the tour, but the surfer was on a tear throughout the entire Challenger Series event.
Molly had an excellent semi-final result scoring a 16.27, surfing like she was going to take out the event. However, she would face American Caitlin Simmers in the final.
Caitlin is a 16-year-old prodigy, and she showcased her talent throughout the event. Simmers was down on the scorecards going into the final minute with all signs looking like Molly was going to win. However, Simmers managed to get on a wave before the buzzer and scored a 6.03 which proved enough to take the win.
The American is a special talent and when asked by Ronnie if we will see her on tour next year, Caitlin replied “we will have to see”. Both these young women in the words of WSL commentator Kaipo “are the future of competitive surfing”.
The Legends heat
Who would of thought we would see Kelly and Occy compete against each other again?
Yesterday we saw Slater, Occy, Josh Kerr, Dean Morrison, Chelsea Hedges, Bede Durbidge and Kate Wilcomes surf in a legendary heat out at Snapper.
It was cool to see Kelly mixing up his board choice and using his twin-fin. Dingo found the best waves with his 30-year super bank experience and 2005 Gold Coast pro champ Chelsea Hedges still shredding on her backhand. Bede Durbidge was impressive and still surfing at a high level at 39-years-old.
We know how good Kerrazy has been surfing post-retirement on his twin-fins. But Kelly stole the show, gliding his way down the snapper point with a bunch of his beloved 360’s.
Occy’s backhand attack is always a classic to watch, however he didn’t look contest fit and struggled to get up on the jet-skis which made Rabbit giggle.
All these legends looked stoked to surf fun Snapper with five people out.
Barrel of the contest
Morgs would find himself a nugget in his round of 24 heat. Free-falling on the take-off, getting tubed and coming out after the spit.