Caitlin Simmers and Callum Robson Win Gold Coast Pro

COOLANGATTA, QLD / Australia (Wednesday, May 11, 2022) - Today, Caitlin Simmers (USA) and Callum Robson won the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro presented by Rip Curl, the first stop of the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series. After 4 days straight of flawless waves at Snapper Rocks, the front edge of a massive East Coast Low began to show its face off the Gold Coast which caused wild and wooly conditions for Finals Day with competitors battling in strong-onshore winds and three-to-five foot waves. The conditions never detracted from the action with massive scores being dropped throughout the day. 

16-year-old Caitlin Simmers Wins Opening Challenger Series Competition of the Season

Today’s victory marked the second Challenger Series win for 16-year-old Caitlin Simmers (USA). Simmers won the US Open of Surfing last year and also earned the final spot for the elite Championship Tour (CT). After Simmers declined the spot on the CT for 2021, Molly Picklum (AUS) received entry as the next on the qualification list. Given how close they were on the 2021 Challenger Series rankings, it was no surprise to see the two matched up in the first Final of the Challenger season here at Snapper Rocks.

Caitlin (Dunbar/WSL)

“I’m so happy to win the first Challenger Series event of the year,” said Simmers. “It was really tough out there and I didn't even know where I was for half of the heat. I was kind of just guessing on that last one and I guess I got the score, but Molly is my favorite surfer. She's so gnarly so it's so fun to share the Final with her. My goals for the season are definitely to try and win the Challenger Series, I’d love to do that.” 

“I’m so happy to win the first Challenger Series event of the year,” said Simmers. “This has been an incredible event with amazing waves even though today, it was extremely tough out there. The wind and rain was howling and it was victory at sea out there. I really had no idea what my situation was in that final minute but I felt I needed a good second wave score - I got that last wave and just surfed it as best I could and managed to get the score - A goal for the season is definitely to try and win the Challenger Series - I’d love to do that.” 

The Final between Simmers and Picklum witnessed an intense matchup as the two battled the stormy conditions for the first Challenger Series win of the season. Picklum stayed busy throughout the heat, locking in a 6.50 and 4.77 (each out of a possible 10). Although Simmers had a strong opening ride, she was left chasing a back-up score to overcome the Australian. In the final minute of the heat, Simmers utilized her priority for one last opportunity. Only needing a 5.45, Simmers overcame the requirement with a 6.03 to take the win away from Picklum. 

Molly (Dunbar/WSL)

“I’m a little disappointed," said Picklum. "It is always nice to take the win, but I am so stoked for Caity. She's an incredible surfer and an incredible competitor, and not everyone has those two things. I can't wait for our year together and hopefully, we will be in a bunch of Finals together. Of course, hopefully, I get her one of these Finals. I’m ready for Manly next week. That will be a different event surf wise but I’m looking forward to the next stop on the Challenger and this entire series." 

Australians Callum Robson and Sheldon Simkus Take First and Second at Boost Mobile Pro

The men’s Final saw an all-Australian matchup between Callum Robson and Sheldon Simkus. Robson, representing Evans Head, is a current rookie on the 2022 CT and carried over his recent success into today’s Challenger Series Final to claim a win over Gold Coast local Simkus. The win marks Robson’s first Challenger Series victory, following his breakthrough second-place result on the CT at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach last month. 

Cal (Dunbar/WSL)

“It’s been a big day for me and an amazing event with fantastic surf and to win is incredible for me,” said Robson. “The year to date has been better than I could have imagined. I've had enormous support from the entire community from my hometown at Evans Head to surf this tour and I’m stoked to repay them and put Evans Head on the map.”

Hometown hero Simkus was a standout performer all event posting big scores and picking some of the best waves of the event, showing local knowledge is key at all locations around the world. In the end, Simkus fell just shy of the ultimate result but was proud to fly the Coolangatta flag on Finals Day in front of a home crowd of friends and family.

Sheldon (Dunbar/WSL)

“It’s been a huge few days for me and such fantastic surf at my home break for this great event,” said Simkus. “It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to surf in this event, I just scraped into the field this year and to make the Final and surf against Callum in front of my home crowd has been amazing. It’s a really good start to the Challenger Series season and I have the confidence to keep going on this series.”

Australian icon Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) fell in the Semifinals to eventual winner Simmers. Fitzgibbons entered into the Challenger Series after missing the Mid-season Cut following the Margaret River Pro Championship Tour event. Although with a solid third-place finish at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Fitzgibbons was awarded WSL CT season wildcard for 2023 and will get to bypass Challenger Series qualification and rejoin the world’s best surfers next season. As the 2023 WSL season wildcard, the 31-year-old will also be the first replacement surfer on the CT for the next half of the season. 

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Women's Final Results: 
1 - Caitlin Simmers (USA) 11.86
2 - Molly Picklum (AUS) 11.27

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Women's Semifinal Results: 
HEAT 1: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 16.50 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.67
HEAT 2: Molly Picklum (AUS) 16.23 DEF. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 15.66

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Women's Quarterfinal Results: 
HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.60 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 7.67
HEAT 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 13.00 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.60
HEAT 3: Molly Picklum (AUS) 13.67 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 7.03
HEAT 4: Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 13.50 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 9.47

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Men's Final Results: 
1 - Callum Robson (AUS) 16.07
2 - Sheldon Simkus (AUS) 15.37

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Men's Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Sheldon Simkus (AUS) 16.33 DEF. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.33
HEAT 2: Callum Robson (AUS) 14.33 DEF. Nolan Rapoza (USA) 12.67

Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl Men's Quarterfinal Results: 
HEAT 1: Sheldon Simkus (AUS) 13.66 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 6.66
HEAT 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.67 DEF. Dylan Moffat (AUS) 8.27
HEAT 3: Callum Robson (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 11.17
HEAT 4: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 14.90 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 14.50


sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 7:57am

Men’s final was incredible action packed.. molly ripped off women’s final.. last wave way overscored

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 8:14am

Just watched the replay of the girls final and i agree with Sean above Molly was a bit hard done by way that wave of Caitlins was a 6.03.......

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 8:21am

I think Free said it yesterday that the event seemed to have lost a bit of steaam towards the end but the finals were really good from the quarters onwards. Some really close heats, some questionable scores (as there always are) and some amazing surfing both from the CT peeps and especially the QS surfers that we don't get to see very often.

Great contest imo and blessed with great waves throughout.

I think the SN banter really adds to the experience.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 8:38am

SN banter is a real highlight for me, Zen. Unfortunately couldn’t make it to the chat room the last two days, too much concentration work required, but I’ll be back for g-land.

Agreed on Caitlin’s last wave, I thought it fell short. Just, but clearly. Was surprised by that, but really don’t want the judges job.

peppa bluey's picture
peppa bluey's picture
peppa bluey Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 8:39am

Very satisfying to see the finals largely comprised surfers who actually need to qualify through the CS

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 9:17am

She's got a nice easy style, that's for sure

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 10:14am

What about that wave wtf! That was incredible

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 11:16am

Crikey. What a beautiful style.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 12:01pm

Sick wave, sick style.
Could show the vast majority of the CT women a thing or two.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 9:31am

Yeah, I have to agree, Jono. She seems to surf ‘the wave in front of her’ rather than go out with a plan - “do more snaps and stuff”.

Better flow in her surfing than just about anyone, male or female.

That was a damn good wave, expertly ridden.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 11:51am

What's Simmers' story? Surfs insane for a 16 year old. Child prodigy? She want to surf comps?

Anyone else see a little bit of JJF in the last 1/4 of her cutback and carves?

Edit: surfs insane for anyone

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 12:01pm

She qualified for the CT last year and gave up her spot which Picklum took.
Partly due to age I’d say and to continue working on her surfing.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 1:04pm

yep its going to be a battle royale in the womens in the coming years and i can see Molly and Caitlin locking horns and winning world titles in the near future......and its a breath of fresh air .

peabo's picture
peabo's picture
peabo Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 3:22pm

What do the frequent winners do with all these gigantic trophies?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 12 May 2022 at 3:59pm

Straight into the pool room.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Wednesday, 18 May 2022 at 2:06am

Gold Coast congratulates...
Gold Coast Pro Men's winner
#1 Callum Robson wins 10,000 points

Challenger Series Leader
#1 Callum Robson leads on 10,000 points > banks CS points for CT Top 5 race.
Exactly as WSL ordered...did the local crossover so now carry over his 10,000 points

Championship Tour Leader
#1 Callum Robson banks 10,000 to rid low score, leads CT on most recent count back.
#2 Toledo
#3 JJ
#4 Ethan (3rd QS Tweed) rids low score banks 3,250 points into 4th spot
#5 Jack dips out in Goldie Pro 1st round to keep 5th.

Oz #1 #4 #5 All say aye...make it so ELO.
Are we saying the CT surfers go the extra yards for zero WSL rankings gain in either?
Just go & get an injury in the CS to end yer CT Career...slide down the ladder back to CS.

So WSL force CT leaders to destroy challenger's dreams & throw 10,000 points in the bin.
Coz Callum's CS Points are useless if he's prohibited from surfing any further CS Comps!
In that case all the lesser points beneath equally translate as a shit pile with no meaning!
Are we to believe the tiered points system is just a tool for WSL to play god!
Reckon WSL are stunned into Silence as this just broke the CS & CT before it even started.

Please correct wot tbb has mucked up here...& tbb will gladly apologize!
tbb is gobsmacked as there is no explanation as to why 10,000 CS points are worthless?
4 Sale on ebay { 10,000 CS Points } Poor outcast bloke will trade for one lousy CT Point.

Is this the best hat trick in World Surfing + by a sticker free surfer? Time will tell!