LAGUNDRI BAY, Nias, Indonesia (Thursday, September 14, 2023) – Competition has continued today at the 2023 Nias Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 event. It was a massive day of action, with the men’s Round of 96 and the opening six heats of the men’s Round of 64 being completed in building, wind-affected three-to-four foot surf at Lagundri Bay.

South Africa’s Jordy Maree (RSA) has a strong connection with the waves here at Lagundri Bay, with the 25-year-old winning here in 2019 and finishing runner-up at his next appearance in 2021. The gifted goofy-footer picked up where he left off today, posting the second-highest two-wave total of the event so far with a 15.17 (out of a possible 20) two-wave combination. Maree’s impressive total included an excellent 9.00-point ride for a series of massive backside vertical re-entries, which was the highest single wave of the event so far.

“I’m really used to surfing point breaks in South Africa, so you have to learn how to pick the good ones,” Maree said. “I haven’t been competing for the last two years apart from here in Nias. This is the only event I do. I just feel relaxed and at home here. I hope to be competing full-time again next year so I can really showcase my surfing. I’ve had a first and a second here before, so I hope to get another good result this year.”

Heat 14 of the Round of 96 saw more solid scores, with Indonesia’s Westen Hirst (INA) first to score an excellent 8.17, but was soon trumped by Tully Wylie (AUS), who can boast the highest heat total of the event, so far. Wylie posted a two-wave total of 15.83 came from his powerful backhand attack and has ensured him a spot in the Round of 64.

“I feel so lucky to be able to come and surf heats over here,” Wylie said. “A lot of the time, we compete on the East Coast of Australia in summer when the waves are small and soft, and I’m a bit bigger, so it makes it harder for me, but to get some bigger conditions and just open up here feels really good. My best wave was a big and kind of slow one, which is what you want on your backhand so you can kinda take your time. I got that first nice turn, then another one, then a little finish. It was so much fun out there, with my caddy Axel in the channel going crazy; I was laughing so hard I almost forgot to finish the wave.”

The only local advancing to the Round of 64 was Kevin Wau (INA), with a win in Heat 6. Wau won with a respectable heat total of 13.60 and was all smiles back on the beach while his local family and friends cheered for him. Wau continued his form in the last heat of the day, progressing into the Round of 32 with a second-place finish.

“I’m so happy; it’s a little bit windy, but the waves are still fun,” Wau said. “I waited for the sets and always looked for the double-up second waves. They seemed to have the best shape. I’m really happy to have won and made it to the next round, but I really want to keep going closer to the finals.”

Reo Inaba (JPN) led the way for the Japanese contingent, progressing into the Round of 64 along with countrymen Shohei Kato (JPN), Takumi Yasui (JPN) and Yuma Nagasawa (JPN).

“It was so hard to find the good ones out there,” Inaba said. “I just tried to keep busy and catch every wave, then hit the sections as hard as possible. This is my first time to Nias, and I like it, but I’m really waiting for some barrels.”

The day ended with the opening heats of the Round of 64, which saw two event hopefuls, John-Mark Tokong (PHL) and reigning event winner Marlon Harrison (AUS), eliminated in their opening heat. Aussie youngster Dakoda Walters (AUS) made his intentions clear, earning an 8.17 for a massive tail-high air reverse into the flats on a big critical section. Walters then backed it up to win the heat and progress easily into the Round of 32 with local hopeful Kevin Wau (INA).

All competitors have been asked to be on standby at 7:00 a.m. for a possible 7:30 a.m. start with the remaining heats of the men’s Round of 64.

The 2023 Nias Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 and Pro Junior events will run from September 11 – 17 at Lagundri Bay, Nias, Indonesia. For more information or to watch the event LIVE, head to or download the Free WSL App.

The 2023 Nias Pro is supported and funded by the South Nias Government.