The 2020 Tweed Coast Pro took over Cabarita beach the past few days, marking the start of the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing. The woman of the hour, Tyler Wright, kicked off the event turning heads before she even hit the water by kneeling in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. As the starting buzzer sounded for her Round 1 heat, Tyler knelt for 439 seconds - one second for every First Nations person in Australia who has lost their life in police custody since 1991.
Throughout the event Tyler powered on, flaring in true Wright style, her board embellished with the words "Black Lives Matter" on display as she released her fins above the lip, gaining the attention and rightful scores from the judges through every heat.
During the final Tyler Wright tapped into raw, powerful athleticism. Capitalising on the sets when it mattered, Tyler was in attack mode. With Formula One speed down the line in an impressive display of polished and progressive surfing.
The last time Tyler and Steph went head-to-head in a Final was the 2019 Maui Pro. Steph may have come out on top back then, but the tables have turned. Hungry for the win, not only claim to the yellow jersey, but also for the opportunity to donate $20,000 of WSL prize money to her chosen organisation.
This event for me was really a platform to stand with Black Lives Matter and for racial justice and equality across the world" expressed Tyler as she accepted her champion trophy.
“I picked two companies, BMNAC and ID. Know Yourself. Two indigenous run and owned corporations.”
Not only did Tyler come away with the win, but fellow Rip Curl Team Rider Matt McGillivray also put on an impressive surfing exhibition taking the runner-up accolade. Clean and fast with impeccable heat strategy at every given opportunity, McGillivray has cemented his seat at the CT table further in his rookie year at the 2020 Tweed Coast Pro.
In support of both Wright and McGillivray’s impressive efforts these past few days, Rip Curl will contribute a further $5,000 in prize money to each athlete’s chosen organisation. That is Wright’s choice; BMNAC and ID. Know Yourself as well as McGillivray's charity of choice; Made For More.
The Tweed Coast Pro marks the return to WSL competitive surfing for 2020. Whilst the world is in a very different place, the excitement, anticipation and love for surfing remains the same.