KRUI, SOUTH SUMATRA/INDONESIA (Thursday, June 15, 2023) – The 2023 Krui Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000 kicked off today with the remaining heats of the Women’s Round of 64, before going straight into the Round of 32 and Pro Junior Men’s action. Competitors were greeted with glassy, lined-up 2-4 foot waves and although it was the smallest it’s been so far, it was still excellent by any standard.
Women’s Round of 32 Completed
Caption: Sierra Kerr (AUS) with a buzzer-beater at the 2023 Krui Pro QS 5,000.
Credit: WSL / Tim Hain
Western Australia’s Isabella Campbell (AUS) continued her winning ways, scoring another excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10) despite the challenging low tide conditions.
“To be honest, you just need to go out there, surf, and have fun,” said Campbell. “I was feeling so shaky on the wave, and I got to the last turn and my legs were kind of sore, but I managed to hit it. I wasn’t really expecting it to score that well, I was shocked but thought hey, this is good.”
With fewer waves on offer, it all came down to wave selection. Australia’s Sierra Kerr came out on top in a tightly contested heat against Saffi Vette (NZL), Kana Nakashio (JPN) and Kayla Martin (USA). With a 6.17 already on the board, Vette took off under priority and scored a 3.87 to jump into the lead, but in the final minute, Kerr found another opportunity and put up a 5.67 to win back the heat. They both advanced into the Round of 16.
“At the beginning of the heat I took off on a couple waves that I thought were going to be my bad choices, but they ended up being my good waves,” said Kerr. “ I had to sit super wide as most of the deeper ones were just on the reef, and the wider ones were going fat, so I kept thinking surely something better would come, and by the time it did, I didn’t have priority. It all worked out and I’m happy to get through.”
18-year-old Janire Gonzalez-Etxabarri from the Basque Country had to work hard for a win after giving up priority. “I was so nervous out there as I lost priority with only a few minutes left, and Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) only need a 4, so I just stayed close to her and stayed calm,” recalled Gonzalaz-Etxabarri. “On that last wave, I think I’ve never been so nervous. I’m so happy I got through as it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to advance into the Round of 16 at a QS.”
Japan’s Monnojo Yahagi Scores Near-Perfect Heat In Pro Junior Men
Caption: Bronson Meydi (INA) advanced to the next round at the 2023 Krui Pro Junior.
Credit: WSL / Tim Hain
In the Pro Junior Men’s division, Japan’s Monnojo Yahagi left it all out there, scoring two excellent waves for a total heat score of 17.44 (out of a possible 20) in the Round of 32. Yahagi had a wobbly start on his first wave, but then he found his footing and impressed the judges with big, critical turns, smooth railwork and perfect control on his backhand.
Other notable wins included Riki Sato (JPN) and Bronson Meydi (INA) as another day of competition came to an end. Meydi will be one of 8 Indonesian surfers representing their home country in the Pro Junior’s Round of 16.
The next call will be Friday, June 16 at 6:30 a.m. local time for a possible 7:00 a.m. start.
The Krui Pro is sponsored by the Government of Pesisir Barat (South Sumatra) with support by Bobobox, and organized by the Asian Surf Cooperative (ASC) under the authority of Persatuan Selancar Ombak Indonesia (PSOI)
The Krui Pro will run at Ujung Bocur from June 12-18. Watch it LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app.