Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey got off to a great start up against world number two Kanoa Igarashi and CT sophomore Yago Dora at the Margaret River Pro in 1–1.5 metre waves at Main Break.
In the opening round Bailey bagged two solid scores and surfed with powerful and stylish rail carves before his opponents got going.
Leading for most of the heat, Bailey had to watch while his competitors slowly pegged back his lead and the heat tightened up with all three surfers getting good rides while utilising their priority. Soli held off a late charge by Dora to place second to Igarashi and progressed into the man-on-man round of 32.
After a lay day his heat against Italo Ferreira was run in pumping conditions at The Box, the famed righthand slab known for producing fast, square-shaped tubes.
Unfortunately for Bailey on his first wave ever at the break, Ferreira posted an excellent 8.17 with a crazy free-fall drop and recovery that saw him spat out of the deep tube ride.
Bailey was put under intense pressure to go big and was eventually eliminated from competition after he was clipped on his way out of several deep barrel riding attempts.
Byron Bay Boardriders are presenting the 44th annual BK Classic and the Willsy X Groms in Byron Bay over this Queens Birthday long weekend.
Previously known as the Easter Classic, it is the longest-running amateur surfing competition in Australia. It boasts 11 divisions, with over 150 competitors aged from eight to 60 years of age.