Joe Jordanoff's surf report | Macauley and Willcox contend well

Gracetown's Bronte Macauley and Margaret River's Jacob Willcox have both competed strongly on the East Coast of Australia at the Central Coast Pro, Avoca Beach.

Strong competitor: Gracetown's Bronte Macauley. Photo supplied.

Strong competitor: Gracetown's Bronte Macauley. Photo supplied.

The event was the first of the year in Australia and a world qualifying tour event with 3000 points up for grabs for competitors.

The waves were three to four-foot right-handers for the finals, with some big scores happening in the finals. 

Sage Erickson and Connor O'Leary were eventual winners in separate divisions at this contest and both fell off the elite Championship Tour (CT) at the end of 2018 so are aiming to put themselves in a great position for re-qualification with these victories.

In the men’s division, Connor O'Leary and Matt Banting have been the form surfers of the Australian Qualifying Series leg in 2019, both taking QS-1000 wins over the last month then matching up in the Final of the Vissla Central Coast Pro.

Banting was going to be hard to beat as he looked razor sharp on the long wally rights of Avoca Point.

This was until the 2017 Championship Tour Rookie of The Year O'Leary got to work on his backhand and posted the highest heat total of the entire event, a near perfect 19.50 two wave combination, which included the only perfect 10 of the event.

O'Leary now sits healthily at sixth on the Qualifying Series rankings.

"This is a bit of a dream come true to start my 2019 like this," said O'Leary.

"That final was definitely a solid confidence boost, especially coming up against someone like Matt who has been absolutely tearing lately.’’

This is a bit of a dream come true to start my 2019 like this. That final was definitely a solid confidence boost, especially coming up against someone like Matt [Banting] who has been absolutely tearing lately.

Connor O'Leary

Sage Erickson was the woman to beat all week, posting solid numbers in every heat that she surfed and the final was no different as she dominated with a two-wave combination of 17.07, the highest heat total of the women's division.

Although she calls Santa Barbra home, Erickson spends a good amount of time on the Central Coast and it showed, she was comfortable throughout the week and had huge support she had on the beach.

Having fallen off the elite Championship Tour at the end of 2018, this 3000-point boost will go along way to getting her back where she belongs in 2020.

"I'm so happy right now," she said.

"I've never competed in a QS-3000 so to finally get to one and win feels so good.

"This is such an important step for me in terms of re-qualifying.

"I spent a lot of time over the off-season thinking about competing less and just doing surf trips,’’ she said.

Forecast:

Friday winds swing SE with a 1.5 metre swell. 

Saturday looks similar with south-east winds and a 1.6m swell.

While a new 2.5m groundswell fills in on Sunday with some clean south-south-easterly winds.

Hot spot:

This week's hot spot is Shallows.