SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND (Saturday 28 October, 2023) – Isla Huppatz (Billinga) and Hinata Aizawa (Palm Beach), both members of the Burleigh Boardriders Club, have taken out the second qualifying event of the Australian Open of Surfing Tour presented by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – The Sunshine Coast Open, following a giant day of action in three-foot conditions at Alex Corner.
With almost 50 male and female professional and aspiring surfers vying for the top spot in their respective divisions, and a generous prize pool on offer, the single-day event saw some hotly contested match-ups, providing plenty of entertainment for spectators.
In 2022, the AOS tour inaugurated the exciting single-wave format, where surfers’ final heat placing was made up of their best one wave, rather than the traditional two-wave total. After receiving positive feedback from the 2022 competitors, the 2023 AOS has continued with the unique format.
The women’s final was won by 16-year-old Gold Coast surfer, Isla Huppatz, with a single wave score of 7.83 (out of a possible 10.00). She took an early lead and dominated the final ahead of Jahly Stokes, Giorgia Lorentson and Holly Williams.
Huppatz said she was over the moon to take the win today and is looking forward to surfing at the Better Beer Bondi Open Grand Final at Bondi Beach in a couple of weeks time.
“I’m so stoked I got a good wave at the start of the final,” said Huppatz “I really enjoyed the single-wave scoring format and I’m fortunate that it went in my favour today, especially in tricky conditions. Winning $2,000 will be a huge help to fund my QS campaign in 2024.”
In a see-saw battle for the win, it was Hinata Aizawa with a single wave score of 8.00 (out of a possible 10.00) who stood his ground and claimed the throne with three powerful backhand manoeuvres. He beat Rico Haybittle, Luke Brumby, and Cameron MacDougall.
Aizawa said the prize money was a huge incentive and definitely pushed him to surf his best today.
“I’m so stoked to win today, especially up against such a tough field,” said Aizawa. “I haven’t won a comp in ages and to win again feels amazing. All the up-and-coming boys are surfing so well and were pushing me all day.I’ve also really enjoyed the single-wave format, it’s made for a really exciting event and it definitely went in my favour today.”
The AllPress highest single wave score of the day also went to Hinata Aizawa with his impressive single wave score of 8.27 (out of possible 10).
The top 10 male and female surfers from the combined two qualifying events will now be invited to compete at the Better Beer Bondi Open Grand Final, to be held at Bondi Beach, Saturday 12 November 2023.
The Bondi Grand Final will see an increase in prize money with $15,000 equal prize money for the men and women winners.
The 2023 Australian Open of Surfing Tour, Sunshine Coast Open, presented by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is proudly supported by AllPress Espresso and Baker Advice Group.
Surfing Queensland would also like to thank Sunshine Coast Council, The Point Coolum, QMS Media, Travla, DriTimes, Ancestral Nutrition, Suzuki Queensland, We Are Feel Good Inc and Queensland Government for their ongoing support.
The action will continue tomorrow on the Sunshine Coast with fourteen of Queenslands best clubs battling at the sixth stop of the Hyundai Australian Boardriders Battle (ABB) Series.
The event will be broadcast LIVE on on the mySURFtv YouTube channel and Kayo Sports.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Surfing Queensland would also like to thank the Sunshine Coast Council, The Point Coolum, QMS Media, We Are Feel Good Inc and Queensland Government for their support.
- Hinata Aizawa
- Rico Haybittle
- Luke Brumby
- Cameron MacDougall
- Isla Huppatz
- Jahly Stokes
- Giorgia Lorentson
- Holly Williams