The Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona marks the difference between professional surfers and amateurs. The best surfers generate speed with small waves and have a thoroughly thought heat strategy and high-energy approach for the day.
Tyler Wright and John John Florence approached the Australian event in their yellow leader’s jersey after their victories in Hawaii. Both proved shortly why they were on the top of the ranking. Florence spent his winter surfing in the North Shore, and despite speculation on how well prepared he was for the Australia’s East Coast, he proved everyone to be on top of his game. He decided to ride a carbon Dark Arts Pyzel during the first day of the competition.
“It’s full carbon, no stringer. That’s new for me, I’ve always been just on polyester” said Florence after winning the Round One heat. “The carbon does a lot of things; it controls the flex a little more because you don’t have a stringer down the middle.”
Wright, the two-time World Champion, proved she was able to win in all conditions. She dominated her heat with smart strategy and powerful surfing. This allowed her to drop one of the highest scores of the day: a 7.60. “It’s part of coming back, to be really efficient [and] really smart.”
There are other surfers out there proving their worth. Filipe Toledo reminded everyone that he is still probably the best small-wave surfer in the world. Italo Ferreira catched 17 waves in his heat, all of them perfectly.
However, eyes turned to local Championship Tour surfer Ryan Callinan. He managed to transform the cheers of the crowd in excellent strategy and achieve the highest heat total of the day: 15.26.
There are still some exciting match-ups in the Elimination Round. According to the weather forecast, there are multiple swell sources coming up in the coming days, and the wind direction and strength will be crucial for this edition of the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona.
Just a week after the news of the death of surf prodigy Pedro Tanaka at the young age of 23, this competition is a great way of remembering him and of enjoying what this incredible sport has to offer. Surfing joins many like-minded people together to achieve greatness: surf the best waves.