Is it the end of one era and the beginning of another for Australian surfing?
Ending speculation about his plans for 2017 Ethan Ewing has indicated that he will accept his WCT position, after finishing second on the WQS rankings.
“He’s excited to be joining the world tour next year,” his manager, Bart Wilson, told Tracks minutes after we’d posted a story suggesting that Ewing was still undecided.
Listen to the commentary and hype and you’ll start believing that Ewing surfs like he inherited the soul of Andy Irons, and while the teenage prodigy definitely has his own distinctive style, he freely admits that he grew up watching clips and movies of Andy on high rotation.
Ewing has been touted as a future world title contender and his decision to take up the WCT offer is great news for an Australian surfing contingent whose presence on the CT is in danger of diminishing. While Jack Freestone sneaks back on to the CT via the WQS back door, Davey Cathels and Matt Banting both require big results at the Billabong Pipeline masters to secure their requalification. Meanwhile Ryan Callinan’s chances of reclaiming a position look all but spent.
Ewing will be joined in the rookie ranks by Cronulla’s Connor O’leary who claimed the number one slot on the WQS rankings. Stu Kennedy also looks set to become an official rookie in 2017 after a strong year competing on the WCT as a wildcard.
With one CT event to go Ace Buchan, Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson and Josh Kerr all look to have their places secured for the 2017 tour. Meanwhile with Mick Fanning non-committal about his plans, Australian fans can only hope that Parko elects to sling on the jersey for another year. To lose Fanning, Parkinson and Burrow in the one year really would mean the end of an era for Australian surfing.