Victorian Open Series, Round 2 Runs In Perfect Conditions With Pedro Lani And Eva Bassed Coming Out Victorious

Published on 28/01/2023

The Mornington Peninsula produced ideal 2-3 ft offshore waves and sunny skies, however the main location of Gunnamatta beach lacked the right banks so competition was moved to Rye Surf Beach. This change of location proved to have a positive effect on Round 2 of the Victorian Open Series as an enthusiastic crowd was greeted with high performances throughout the day with a better bank on offer.

Eva Bassed (Sandy Point) took out the Open Women and Pedro Lani (Bittern) secured first in the Open Men.

The series is the key selection pathway for the Rip Curl Pro trials and the Victorian Surfing Team that competes at the Australian Surf Championships.

Round 1 winner Willis Droomer (Jan Juc) and previous Junior State Title winner Lucas Hickson (Rye) came into the final on fire and looked like the ones to beat. Both Droomer and Hickson were scoring high sevens and eights all day to make their way to the final against Pedro Lani (Bittern) and Lewis Oates (Jan Juc).

However, in an upset to the form of the semi final winners Pedro Lani (Bittern) stole the show with his brilliant wave selection with his only two waves of the heat producing a 7.50 point ride (out of a possible 10) and a 7.23 point ride. This gave Lani the combined heat total of 14.73 (out of a possible 20) and the win.

Lani rode his first wave of the final with a precise attack that sent spray flying out the back of the wave, with his surfing on his second wave only getting better as the home crowd cheered and honked their horns for the local boy.

“I’m happy to get the win, especially with it being at home!” Lani said.

“We had really good conditions throughout the day and everyone was ripping,” he added.

Lucas Hickson (Rye) made a break for the win late collecting an 8.10 point ride however he couldn’t back it up to take the win.

Willis Droomer (Jan Juc) and Lewis Oates (Jan Juc) finished in third and fourth respectively.

Eva Bassed (Sandy Point) took out the Open Womens with strong power surfing that suited the steep walls of Rye Surf Beach. She put on an outstanding performance in the final, posting both a 7.50 point ride and a 7.70 point ride ending up with a combined heat total of 15.20.

“The conditions were amazing, definitely the best it gets for surf competitions. The morning was glassy and even when the wind came up the bank was still epic,” said Bassed.

“The whole comp was such a good vibe, and I had a couple of my friends out there as well which was awesome” she added.

Behind Bassed was Sara Hickson (Rye) who had a combined heat total 12.77 points. Hickson was able to throw the fins out the back all day to receive high scores however she wasn’t able to put together multiple waves in the final.

Sophie Fletcher (Cape Woolamai) and Angela Ball (Torquay) finished in third and fourth respectively.

Scores from the event can be found on

The Victorian Open Series and Victorian Masters Titles is supported by QUIT Victoria, VicRoads Community Safety Grants, Cancer Council Sunscreen and Surfing Victoria.

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