Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the Quiksilver Pro against Kolohe Andino (USA) at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, 2016.
Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the Quiksilver Pro against Kolohe Andino (USA) at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, 2016. Liana Turner

North Coast takes the cake for Quiksilver and Roxy Pro

THE Northern Rivers has won big after locals took out both the Roxy Pro and Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks this afternoon.

Lennox Head local Tyler Wright and Byron Bay man Matt Wilkinson will both wear the yellow jersey at the next leg of the World Surf League tour, at Bells Beach next month.

Wright defeated American Courtney Conlogue in an impressive battle of the boards, with a total score of 14.67 over Conlogue's 10.94.

Wilkinson then took on Kolohe Andino (USA) and won the event 14.22 to 13.66.

Today marked the second Roxy Pro Gold Coast win for Wright, who also claimed the title in 2013. She was thrilled when her plan to come back swinging after a lacklustre 2015 became a reality.

After claiming the first title in the WSL Championships tour for 2016, she now has her eye firmly set on the world title.

Wright defeated Kingscliff local Stephanie Gilmore in the quarter-finals, before taking on 2015 world champion Carissa Moore.

"I've known for a long time that I could win," Wright said.

"It's having that belief and going out in the heats knowing yes, you've got this…

 

Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright took out the Roxy Pro against American Courtney Conlogue at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon.
Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright took out the Roxy Pro against American Courtney Conlogue at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon. Liana Turner

"I have so much admiration and respect…for the people who have gone after a world title.

"I see how much more effort it takes and I have so much respect for everyone who've gone on and won… or come close."

Conlogue, now number two on the WSL circuit, was looking forward to the next event at Bells Beach from April 1.

"I've always wanted to have a heat against Tyler," Conlogue said.

"She surfed absolutely stellar.

"I'm really looking forward to being at Bells and starting over again."

Conlogue said her biggest challenge with the Roxy Pro was not her opponents, but the elements upon which their sport relies.

"I think in every heat in this event… your biggest challenge is usually you and the ocean and just trying to get on the right waves and creating those opportunities to perform," she said.

Wilkinson was also thrilled with his win.

"I started this year with a win in the QS and (I thought it was) a good start," he said.

"Filipe (Toledo) was looking pretty deadly out here and Kolohe (Andino) in the final… I didn't really expect this but I was hoping for it.

 

Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the Quiksilver Pro against Kolohe Andino (USA, left) at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, 2016. Tyler Wright (right), from Lennox Head, took out the Roxy Pro.
Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson won the Quiksilver Pro against Kolohe Andino (USA, left) at Snapper Rocks on Wednesday afternoon, March 16, 2016. Tyler Wright (right), from Lennox Head, took out the Roxy Pro. Liana Turner

"That's the kind of heat I usually lose. I just got the score right at the end and it gave me the fire… it kind of made me feel like the ocean's on my side.

"I hadn't really got a great Snapper wave this whole event and that first wave in the final had two really nice sections."

Andino congratulated Wilkinson on his victory.

   



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