Sierra Kerr and Willow Hardy go perfect on Day 5 of the Nias Pro QS 5000

Published on 12/06/2024


The Nias Pro QS 5000 WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 event has seen another historic day of competition with Lagundri Bay delivering more epic surf in the six-to-eight foot plus range on Day 5 of the event.

17-year-old Sierra Kerr (AUS) claimed the headlines once again, posting a perfect 10-point ride in pumping surf. Kerr, known for her prowess in hollow, heavy waves, has been waiting for the opportunity to show her commitment whilst in a contest jersey, and on Wednesday, she got it and didn’t waste it. Just 2 minutes into her heat, Kerr spun on a set, dropped in and weaved her way through the tube before getting spat out to earn a perfect 10-point ride. In the dying seconds of the heat, she did it again, posting a 9.87 (out of a possible 10) for a heat total of 19.87 (out of a possible 20), the highest of the women’s event and the second highest of the event overall.

“When I saw Willow (Hardy) get her wave, I just thought to myself, ‘I want that big barrel’, Kerr said. “I wanted to try and get the biggest barrel during my heat. When I saw that one coming, I thought I was a bit deep, then no one wanted it, and I was like, ‘I’ll go this thing,’ and I’m glad I did because it was perfect. I don’t even know if I’ve been barrelled in a WSL comp, and I definitely haven’t had a 10 so this is two firsts. I’m frothing.”

Straight after Kerr’s heat, her father, former Championship Tour competitor Josh Kerr (AUS), claimed an impressive heat win with a heat total of 17.24 to book a spot in the Quarterfinals, where he won again, meaning that when competition resumes, the father and daughter will contest for the win here at the Nias Pro QS 5000. 

Earlier in the day, Western Australian upstart Willow Hardy (AUS) posted the first perfect 10 of the day and of her career. Hardy dropped in late on her backhand, pulling up on the rail and setting her line in the critical part of the tube, eventually getting spat out to take the win. Hardy continued her good form into the Round of 16, claiming another heat win and a spot in the Quarterfinals.

“This was my best heat ever, definitely,” Hardy said. “I couldn’t have asked for more than a perfect 10. I just hope more heats like this come my way in the future. I’ve been training my backhand barrel riding for so long, and today is the day it finally paid off. I managed to get the best barrel of my life. My surfing continues to improve when I compete in Nias, especially with bigger waves, and I’ve developed a better understanding of where to position myself.”

Former Nias Pro event winner Piper Harrison (AUS) was a competitor who looked keen to be challenged in the heaving barrels, pulling in deep on the sets to earn a near-perfect 9.70 in the Round of 32 and a 9.17 in the Round of 16. Reigning event winners Philippa Anderson (AUS) and Ella McCaffray (USA) were also standouts, finding some shade in the heavy conditions on their way to Finals Day.

Aussie youngsters Winter Vincent (AUS) and Kyuss King (AUS) also earned spots in the Semifinals with some of the smoothest, deepest and heaviest tube rides to post some of the highest scores of the day. King posted a 9.57, then a 7.37 on the buzzer to narrowly overcome form surfer Axel Curotta (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.

I’ve been watching it all day since my morning heat, and it seems like the second wave of the heat is the one to go,” King said. “I just went out there and waited for that second one. I knew it would be tough because Axel has been ripping all event, dropping crazy scores. Sorry, Mum and Dad, for leaving it so late; I’ll try not to in the next one.”

The Nias Pro will run at Lagundri Bay from June 8 to 15. For more information or to watch the event live, head to WorldSurfLeague.com.

Willow Hardy (AUS) on her way to posting a perfect 10-point ride at the Nias Pro QS 5000 today.
Image: WSL / Tim Hain

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