Back-to-back wins for Bella and Jordy Lawler’s Hometown Victory!

Published on 16/05/2024

Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Jordan Lawler (AUS) claimed victory at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Bonsoy, Stop No. 2 of the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS). In front of a packed beach at North Narrabeen, the Aussie duo was able to overcome a massive international field to take the win in super clean two-to-three-foot surf.

Photo Credit: WSL / Matt Dunbar
NARRABEEN, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA – MAY 14: Jordan Lawler of Australia surfs in Heat 2 of the Semifinals at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro on May 14, 2024 at Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

North Narrabeen local Jordan Lawler (AUS) has claimed a famous victory today in front of a huge home crowd, winning the 2024 GWM Sydney Surf Pro, the biggest result of his career. Having missed qualifying for the Challenger Series in 2024, Lawler came into the event this week as a wildcard. With low expectations on himself, he was able to cruise through the draw and claim the memorable win. 

“Honestly, the last few months have been a real rollercoaster,” Lawler said. “After not qualifying for the Challenger Series this year, I was honestly thinking about calling it quits, so I’m just stoked I stuck with it. I was pretty low there for a while, and I hadn’t had a good result for a while, so I’m just so stoked right now. To make it to the Championship Tour has been my goal for so long and to win an event of this size can really help with that, I just can’t believe it.” 

In the 35-minute Final, Lawler came up against former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Alejo Muniz (BRA) in a classic frontside versus backside battle on the North Narrabeen lefts. Muniz had been in solid touch all week but it was the local knowledge and hometown support that got Lawler an early lead. Local boy Lawler was then able to build momentum throughout the matchup, eventually posting a 15.75 (out of a possible 20) two-wave total, his highest of the event and enough to put Muniz in a combination situation. In the dying minutes, Muniz found a 7.20 (out of a possible 10) to break the combination but was unable to back it up, leaving Lawler to claim victory. 

“Winning at home in front of all of these familiar faces is so amazing, I’m speechless,” Lawler said. “Growing up, I looked up to so many of these surfers, and to be competing against them and getting the win is like a dream come true, especially at home. I’ve worked so hard to be here, and I’m keen to get it done this year qualifying for the Championship Tour.”

Photo Credit: WSL / Matt Dunbar

Only three weeks after falling short of the Mid-season Cut and being relegated from the Championship Tour to the Challenger Series, Isabella Nichols (AUS) has bounced back with a massive win at North Narrabeen, her second at this location in as many years. Nichols looked on point all week, posting solid scores and taking down some of the event’s big names, including Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), in the Semifinals. Nichols’ win today has locked her in a second on the Challenger Series rankings and, along with her third-place finish on the Gold Coast, has put her in a great position to find her way back to the CT by the year’s end.  

“There’s a lot going through my mind right now,” Nichols said. “I came into this event feeling really positive and good about things, which has worked for me. Last year, I came into this event feeling super down, and that obviously worked for me, but it is nice to have less pressure and emotion being in the same position and still getting a result. It’s been so good being in such a good headspace compared to last year. It just shows, regardless of your headspace, if you go through the process, you can get it done.”

Nichols saved her best performance for last when she came up against the form surfer of the Challenger Series, Erin Brooks (CAN). Nichols surfed a smart heat, holding on to priority for long stretches and executing on the best-set waves of the matchup. Brooks was left needing a solid score and almost got it with a huge frontside full-rotation air-reverse but fell, leaving Nichols to take the win with a two-wave total of 15.27 (out of a possible 20). Today’s result locks Nichols in at second on the rankings ahead of the next event in South Africa, the Ballito Pro. 

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