- 06 March 2017 | Surfing
Jesse Mendes and Malia Manuel conquered the prestigious 2017 Australian Open of Surfing titles, at Manly, in New South Wales, Australia.
The Brazilian surfer is on a roll. Mendes, who had finished runner-up at the Newcastle Surfest, defeated the experienced Championship Tour (CT) campaigner Julian Wilson in the final held in two-to-three-foot surf.
Wilson started off strong with an 8.37 wave for an impressive tail-high reverse and backed it up with a 9.33 score, but Mendes didn't give up and found what he was looking for.
"I knew I was going to have to surf my best, so that's what I did. I have never done better than the quarters in Australia so to come and get to finals is amazing," explained Jesse Mendes.
"I have won events on the QS in the past and didn't qualify, so a second and a first early in the season is great. I can't wait to see what this year has in store and if I will achieve my dream of qualifying for the Championship Tour."
On the women's final, Malia Manuel and Johanne Defay rode a total of 21 waves. But the Hawaiian's 9.33 score would prove to be decisive.
"I'm so happy I'm not the bridesmaid today. I think when you return to an event that you have finished runner-up at you can really put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform. I didn't want to do that and took a relaxed approach, which seemed to work," concluded Manuel.
2017 Australian Open of Surfing | Finals
1. Jesse Mendes (BRA), 18.13
2. Julian Wilson (AUS), 18.00
1. Malia Manuel (HAW), 17.87
2. Johanne Defay (FRA), 16.16