Kennedy in shock comp wipe-out
AFTER Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy took command of the third round in the Carve Pro at Sydney’s Maroubra Beach on Thursday, it seemed nothing could prevent his mission to prove to the judges that he deserved serious contention for the World Championship Tour selection.
But on Friday goofy-footers Darcy Crump (Avalon, NSW) and Lennox Chell (Avoca, NSW) both executed the biggest upsets of the event so far, eliminating event favourites Oney Anwar (IND) Kennedy from the event in round four.
The pair found a handful of tight backhand pockets over the course of the heat to gain the edge over the two more seasoned competitors and claim first and second respectively.
Now Crump and Chell will make their next appearance in the quarterfinals on Saturday February 1.
It’s a hard finish for Kennedy after a stellar performance in Thursday’s punchy one to two-foot waves clearly demonstrated his ability and proved he was on the cusp of WSL Championship Tour qualification as he soared through the tiny conditions with flair and power.
Kennedy, 30, has been on the QS since 2008 and is a former world No. 19.
At Maroubra the natural-footer found multiple fast right-handers to link together a chain of snaps and floats and finish the heat with a respectable 10.10 two-wave heat total.
This dynamic performance gave Kennedy a respectable score and the runner-up position, allowing him to progress through the heat alongside heat victor Anwar.
Earlier Kennedy said the event is always a good way to kickstart your year.
“I’ve always loved coming down to Maroubra for this comp and have a lot of good family and friends who live nearby, so I’d definitely say I feel comfortable here,” he said.
“If I can keep progressing through heats in this event then I’d be stoked.”
The elite four-day QS 1000 rated event forms the first of three stops on the Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series and ends Saturday at Maroubra Beach.