Connor O’Leary (Cronulla, NSW) and Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW) have taken out the 2019 Carve Pro in a day of tricky one-foot waves at Maroubra Beach.
Former WSL Championship Tour surfer Connor O’Leary (Cronulla, NSW) made his intentions clear that he wanted to be back on the elite CT, showing the skills that allowed him to take out the 2017 Rookie Of The Year title. O’Leary was on the ropes for the majority of the final against Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) but was able to find a punchy left in the final three minutes of the heat to post an excellent 8.83 and take the lead.
“It was almost like I had a three-minute heat,” said O'Leary. “I thought I’d just sit and finish the heat with priority and not catch a wave, but thankfully I found that little lefthander and it all worked out. 2018 was definitely a weird year for me and there were a few things that didn’t go my way, but no excuses really. I’m excited to be heading into 2019.”
Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW) was able to get her 2019 QS campaign off to a flying start thanks to a win at the 2019 Carve Pro. Anderson dominated the relatively wave-starved final, posting an impressive 13.66 two-wave heat total to get the edge over Holly Wawn (Newport, NSW) for an array of powerful and flowy frontside turns.
“To walk away with a win in the first event of the year feels really good,” said Anderson. “I’ll be giving the QS a good go again this year. To start the year in NSW and get my feet in the wax in my own state is awesome. To get so close to qualifying last year and then to start this year with a win, confirms in my head that I can surf these events and you’re doing the right thing.”
Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) looked almost certain to claim his second QS victory from as many events at the Carve Pro, but as time ticked down (and not holding priority), Tancred was forced to watch O’Leary snatch his lead thanks to the aforementioned 8.83 wave score. After claiming victory at the Port Stephens Pro at the end of 2018 and now a runner-up finish at Maroubra, Tancred heads into the 2019 Qualifying Series full of confidence.

“It was really fun to surf a few heats down here,” said Tancred. “Unfortunately the swell died a bit today, but it was still really good to share a heat with someone like Connor.  I hope he does really well again this year and ends up back on the tour.”
Despite putting on stellar performances over the course of the entire Carve Pro, Holly Wawn (Newport, NSW) was unable to find the same rhythm in the wave-starved final. Wawn remained patient in the heat, only catching five waves, but was unable to find the same mojo that got her to the final and had to settle for the runner-up spot.

“It feels nice to start the year off so close to home,” said Wawn. “It would have been good to get a few more waves in the final, but I’m still stoked with the result and am looking forward to the next couple of events and the two 6000 rated QS competitions in NSW also.”
The elite four-day QS 1000 rated event formed the first of three stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and took place in Maroubra Beach from the 23rd January – 26th January 2019.
The Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series was developed for Australian and International surfers to gain ranking points and prize money on the WSL Qualifying Series. The series also creates a NSW coastal road trip for all to explore the variety of waves, visit local communities and enjoy NSW surfing culture.
The 2019 Carve Pro was supported by the NSW Government. The event will also be proudly supported by Carve, Randwick City Council, Souths Juniors, Storage King, Volkswagen, Vissla, AirAsia, H2Coco, Mothernest, WSL, and Surfing NSW.
2019 Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series Event Schedule
Event 1: Carve Pro QS1,000, Maroubra – January 23 – 26
Event 2: Mothernest Great Lakes Pro QS1000, Boomerang Beach – February 20 -24
Event 3: Vissla Central Coast Pro QS3000, Avoca Beach – February  27 – March 4

1 – Connor O’Leary (Cronulla, NSW)
2 – Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW)
1 – Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW)
2 – Holly Wawn (Newport, NSW)