Gold Coast, Queensland (Sunday, May 12, 2019) – Billy Stairmand (New Zealand) and Kirra Belle-Olsson (Avoca Beach, NSW) have won the 2019 Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre today, in peeling 2-3ft waves at Burleigh Point. Crowds swarmed to the Burleigh Hill in the thousands to witness some world-class surfing in the natural amphitheater that is Burleigh Point.
Billy Stairmand has won the open men’s division today, defeating Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW) in a huge final heat. Stairmand scored a 7.5 (out of a possible 10.00), combined with a 7.75 – to give him a combined heat total of 15.30 (out of a possible 20.00) to edge out his opponent. Kennedy required an 8.85 to take the win, but huey was on Stairmand’s side as the ocean stood still for the remainder of the heat.
“It feels crazy, it feels really good,” said Stairmand. “I’ve been having a great week, staying with some friends, looking after myself and eating good food. I knew Stuey (Kennedy) was a gnarly competitor, and the waves haven’t been too big so it could’ve been tough. I’m not too big though so I work well in small waves!” joked Stairmand. “I’d like to thank my mum, who passed away a couple of years ago. To win the event on Mother’s day is pretty special, I’m sure she was looking down at me.”
Runner-up Stuart Kennedy was stoked with a second place win and holds high hopes for the rest of the year.
“I’m hoping I can carry this momentum into future events, like the QS10,000’s and stuff. I would like to re-qualify for the world tour, I feel like that’s where I belong.”
Kirra Belle-Olsson (Avoca Beach, NSW) has won the women’s division at the event, defeating Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore, QLD) in a quick-paced and thrilling final heat. Belle Olsson has scored a 6.65, combined with an 8.25 for a total heat score of 14.90. Stoyle’s heat total of 11.00 was no match for Olsson’s backhand attack, riding 8 waves for her heat in a day of big lulls with not many waves on offer.
“It feels amazing to win today,” said Olsson. “I had a pretty slow start to the year, so I’ve been working hard the last few months – just to get back into the winning formula. I definitely think I’ve found it at this event. Now that I’ve won this I can go to America, so I’ll probably head over there for a month then maybe Mexico after that.”
Dimity Stoyle was stoked with her second-place finish. “It definitely feels better than last,” said Stoyle. “It feels really good. I love this wave, I love Burleigh – it’s such a great place to hold an event. It was a lot of fun to have an event here at home in Queensland, today was a really good day.”
The next Australian Qualifying series event will be the Mandurah Pro in Western Australia, from October 19th – 22nd.
Previous winners of the Gold Coast Open presented by Flight Centre (formerly Burleigh Pro) include names like Taj Burrow, Julian Wilson, Dimity Stoyle, Owen Wright, Kobie Enright, Mitch Crews, and Isabella Nichols. The event is known for attracting surfers from all corners of the globe including Indonesia, North America, France, Brazil, and Japan.