The Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Boardstore saw a day of intense surfing and tricky conditions as the opening day of competition kicked off in windy two-to-three foot peaks.
Having recently competed at Manly as part of The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro, Qualifying Series 6,000 rated event, Mitch James (Kingscliff, NSW) showed the competency of a seasoned veteran, posting an impressive 15.00 two-wave heat total to claim his first round heat. As a late entrant, James had to start in the opening round, where he proceeded to execute an eclectic mix of carves and snaps to notch up a score and leave his fellow competitors chasing combinations to snatch away his lead.
“If you were in the right spot you could definitely find a couple of decent waves, but it was hard to get them,” said James. “It’s always a good feeling to get your campaign underway with a decent heat total. Hopefully, the wind cleans up over the next day or two and the waves tidy up a bit.”  
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW) was another solid name who was forced to begin his Vissla Central Coast Pro campaign in the first round due to late entry. Ball - who recently lost his sponsor - proceeded to dominate his round one and two heats with a combination of innovative and powerful turns. Ball and local dynamo Caleb Tancred (Avoca) both sealed their position in the third-round thanks to posting heat totals in excess of 15.00 points.
“That heat was really fun,” said Ball after his round two heat. “It was almost as if the wind backed off and it pulsed for us. All the guys in the heat are such good surfers, so I knew I needed at least one excellent score to get the upper-hand in the heat. Thankfully, I got that 8.90 and it gave me a bit of an edge.”
Sarah Baum (ZAF) found multiple diamonds in the rough to stamp her authority on her opening women’s heat. Baum nailed a series of forehand and backhand turns to notch up a 12.90 and cement herself into round two which is forecast to be surfed tomorrow.
“I feel really comfortable in waves like that,” said Baum. “I find whenever the surf is like this, then it’s best to catch as many waves as possible and stay busy. I thought if I do that, and stay away from the pack, then I could hopefully get through. I’m stoked it worked.”
Hailing all the way from the Basque Country, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) put on one of the most dominant performances seen all day, scoring a giant 18.40 two-wave heat total. Erostarbe locked in a 9.00 and a 9.40 to amass the excellent total and solidify herself as one to watch as the event continues.
Day two of the Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Boardstore will kick off at Avoca from 8.00 am tomorrow.

The elite five-day World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 rated competition will take place from 7 – 11 March 2018.
Over 200 male and female surfers will compete in the event, which will see over 18 different countries represented in both divisions.
Previous event champions include CT surfer and local Adrian Buchan, former World Championship Tour surfer Justine Dupont (France) and former US Open of Surfing champion Hiroto Ohhara (Japan).
Local Central Coast competitors in the event include Lennox Chell (Avoca), Caleb Tancred (Avoca), Shane Holmes (Shelly Beach), Troy and Jamie Skillin (Norah Head), Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca) and Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach).
Event dates and locations:
Event One: Carve Pro
Location: Maroubra Beach
Date: January 18th – 21st, 2018
Event Two: Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro
Location: Cabarita Beach
Date: January 31st – February 4th, 2018
Event Three: Vissla Great Lakes Pro pres. by D'Blanc
Location: Boomerang Beach
Date: February 7th – 11th, 2018
Event Four: Vissla Central Coast Pro pres. by Slimes Boardstore
Location: Avoca Beach
Date: March 7th – 11th, 2018
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 2018 NSW Pro Surf Series will be proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The series will also be proudly supported by Vissla, Randwick City Council, Central Coast Council, Destination Tweed, Mid Coast Council and Tourism, NBN, Toyota, Coastalwatch, World Surf League and Surfing NSW.