Lennox Head’s Stu Kennedy and Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey delivered on their potential with great results at the 2019 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 6000 event at Manly Beach.
After some top level performances from both surfers they met in the round of sixteen. In a very close tussle Kennedy took the win over Bailey and moved into the quarterfinals where he was bested by eventual winner Jordan Lawler.
Kennedy struggled to find a quality wave in the 25-minute clash where very inconsistent conditions were on offer.
Stu gained 2650 points for his equal fifth result and won US $2500 while Soli gained 1550 points and US $2000 with his equal ninth placing. Kennedy is now ranked eighteenth on the QS ratings ladder with Bailey in 43rd place.
The 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour will host the biggest year in surfing ever and also bring in some major changes.
The main features are new format updates, equal prize money, and qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The new format changes feature a reduction in the number of heats required to finish an event, to allow for events to run in less time to take advantage of short term swell windows.
The downside is that a competitor can be eliminated without getting to surf a one-on-one heat, and with inconsistent waves, three man heats can often be decided by the luck factor.