Courtesy of WSL North America
Jake Kelley Dominates Opening Day With Near-Perfection
Barbadian Dane Mackie Overcomes The Cold Waters With Explosive Start Davi Toledo Makes His Opening Heat Count
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HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Friday, March 22, 2019) – Opening day of the World Surf League (WSL) men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Jack’s Surfboards Pro QS 1,500 fired into action with Huntington Beach delivering clean, four-to-six foot swell for Round 1 and Round 2 Heats 1 – 8. Competitors wasted no opportunities and put on a showcase in their event debuts as they head into the weekend’s competition where top seeds await.
Davi Toledo (BRA)
found his competitive form for the first time among the QS contingent
after earning a 7.17 (out of a possible 10) in Round 1 Heat 9. Younger
brother to World No. 3 Filipe Toledo (BRA),
Davi is just getting his career started and showed his forehand attack
on the clean walls of Huntington Beach. The 19-year-old hones his talent
at the world-class wave of Trestles and around San Clemente,
California’s, various beachbreaks to create a well-rounded approach.
“That wave just appeared to me from nowhere and everyone had priority over me I think,” Toledo said. “I just snuck in under the boys and got it. I’m so happy and just thank God for that one. That’s my first heat I’ve made on the QS and that sure felt good. It’s like a weight just came off my back — my shoulders are lighter for sure (laughs).”
|The competition began to hit another level when Barbados’ Dane Mackie
put on a dominant display of his backhand to earn an excellent, meaning
an 8.00 or higher, 8.50 which moved him from third-place to winning his
Round 2 debut. The 21-year-old has his own world-class, righthand wave
of Soup Bowl to sharpen that backhand into a tool when needed most. But
the event is long from done for Mackie and the Barbadian has plenty left
in the tank.|
“I needed a score late on so I was kind of nervous, but it felt good to get going,” Mackie said. “I just tried to smash it hard twice. I was hoping I’d at least get one turn and when I got one, I thought let’s finish strong. It’s difficult to be honest being from the Caribbean, the water’s pretty cold and it’s colder than normal for California I feel like. It’s a bit difficult, but I like trying new things. I definitely want to do more than just make the first heat and to get the momentum going so far from home is really good.”
Ventura, California’s, Jake Kelley built a foundation in his heat to take control in Round 2 Heat 2 with a near-perfect 9.00 and immaculate 16.50 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Kelley’s performance last weekend in Cocoa Beach, Florida, garnered him a Quarterfinal result and the 23-year-old carried that momentum directly into pumping surf at Huntington Beach Pier’s southside.
“I got lucky and it felt good, the waves are kind of pumping right now so it’s just nice to have waves to surf (laughs),” Kelley said. “It’s just surfing. When the waves are fun it makes you want to go and surf. You can just maintain the flow and have fun. You don’t really need anything else when it’s this good — especially in Huntington since the waves haven’t been that good in California.”
Fellow Central Coast native Austin Neumann (Pismo Beach, Calif.) executed a brilliant air in the final heat of opening day action to garner an 8.83 and put himself into Round 3. Other notable wins included Huntington Beach’s own Derek Peters, Brazilians Matheus Navarro (recent winner in Cocoa Beach, Florida) and Namor Cayres, and Encinitas, California, native Nick Marshall.
Round 2 of the Jack’s Surfboards Pro will resume with Heat 9 at 8:00 a.m. PDT
CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS FROM ROUND 1 OF THE JACK’S SURFBOARDS PRO
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The Jack’s Surfboards Pro 1,500 will run March 22 – 24.
|About the WSL The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe. The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours. Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport. For more information, please visit worldsurfleague.com.|