Thornton grabs Triple Bull by horns


Thornton grabs Triple Bull by horns

Maroubra’s Blake Thornton has topped a red-hot field to win the Triple Bull Cronulla Pro at North Cronulla Beach. The first event of the Bacardi Surf Tour was held in chunky 2m waves that offered competitors the perfect opportunity to showcase their power game.

Thornton held off a late charge by Elouera’s Connor O’Leary who finished second ahead of Wollongong’s Nic Squires and Curl Curl’s Matt Bemrose.

Making a return to competition in 2016 Thornton started the final strong scoring a 6.33 on his opening wave, which he quickly backed up with a 9.00-point ride. Thornton’s smooth powerful style was well suited to the conditions with the natural footer laying down some massive forehand snaps to post the best wave of the Final.

“Really stoked to win the event, was an extremely tough field with a good mix of youth and experience as you can see from the top 8 surfers,” said Thornton. “The waves really turned on from midday and it was good to get back in a jersey and win an event and get one over Connor. Looking forward to the rest of the Series and hopefully taking the overall Title.”

Local standout Connor O’Leary threw everything into his last wave but fell short of victory by 1.13 points. Chasing an 8.24 and with ten seconds remaining the talented goofy footer launched a massive front side straight air which he landed cleanly in the closeout section. The judges locked in a 7.10 securing O’Leary second place and $500.

“It was an awesome day and the waves were fun,” said O’Leary. “When I saw the heat draw come out there were so many great surfers that anyone could have won it, every heat was stacked which was good to see. Was not only great to be apart of was awesome to watch as well.”

Being the first event of the Tour and a mixed bag of experienced and underground surfers lining up, the excitement was evident amongst competitors with the standard of surfing being a real eye opener. “The standard of surfing was beyond what I thought it was going to be” added O’Leary.

Nic Squires was a standout in the early rounds dropping big scores in the powerful surf, “I’m really happy with a 3rd place finish at Cronulla,” said Squires. “Pretty much from Round 2 onwards the heats were stacked like any QS event and the Final was the same. As soon as I saw Blake get his 9.00 I knew he had the upper hand and at the end I saw Connor’s massive front side straight air so I knew I was looking at 3rd place.”

Matt Bemrose turned back the clock competing in a Pro Event for the first time in four years. “Good to get the contest jersey back on and put myself into a competitive mindset again,” said Bemrose. “Was really fun and challenging as most of these guys compete on the WQS, the level was super high and everyone was ripping.”

Brazilian Krystian Kymerson entertained the large crowd with his above the lip surfing and was rewarded for his commitment winning the G-Shock Wave of the Day. Kymerson locked in a 9.33 for a huge front side alley-oop during his Quarter Final that was the best individual wave score of the event. Kymerson received a G-Shock Gulfmaster for the win.

The local Trials Final was won by Cronulla’s Jordan Widenstrom (11.60) with Ben Sear (8.67) finishing second and Sorrel Hayes (6.17) third. Jordan won a $50 voucher from Northies Cronulla Hotel and a G-Shock Tide Watch.

Bacardi Surf Tour – Event No. 1

Triple Bull Cronulla Pro

1st – Blake Thornton 15.33 $1000
2nd – Connor O’Leary 15.20 $500
3rd – Nic Squires 12.40 $300
4th – Matt Bemrose 8.56 $200
5th – Krystian Kymerson $150
5th – Chris Friend $150
7th – Dean Bowen $100
7th – Dane Atcheson $100

Each of the five events on the Bacardi Surf Tour will carry ratings points with the overall tour winner being decided on each surfers best four results. The tour winner will receive $2500 and prizes from Bacardi, G-Shock and Swellnet.

The second event of the tour will be the Aloha Surf Manly Pro at Curl Curl Beach, Sydney on Sunday 15th May followed by the Bacardi After Party at the Hotel Steyne. The remaining three events will be held on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with dates and venues announced in May.

The 2016 Triple Bull Cronulla Pro is proudly supported by Bacardi, G-Shock, Northies Cronulla Hotel, Swellnet and Sutherland Shire Council.

For all Bacardi Surf Tour information including Entry Forms, Heat Draws and Ratings visit

To follow the Bacardi Surf Tour visit and Instagram – @bacardisurftour and #bacardisurftour

For further information please contact,
Steve Harrison
Global Surftag
Phone – 0403 180 787
Email –

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Grant Sproule

Grant Sproule has worked in Newspapers and Surf Media for 22 years and is also graphic designer and photographer. His eye for detail and deep passion for surfing has led him to develop one of Australia's leading Surf Magazines. Grant Started shooting surfing at a young age and is now regarded as an industry pro.

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