On a picture-perfect Newy afternoon, Carissa Moore stole the show today with one of the best frontside air reversals you’ll ever see. The four-time world champ couldn’t quite believe it herself when she stuck the landing of the insane aerial manoeuvre. Carissa was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.9 – the highest scoring wave we’ve seen at the Ripcurl Newcastle Cup so far.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Moore was in disbelief at making the air. Photo: WSL/Dunbar

Earlier in the morning, Ryan Callinan and Morgan Cibilic put on yet another clinic for the local crowd, with both progressing to the quarterfinals in impressive fashion. After the last two days, Morgan must be pinching himself, going from a CT rookie to a serious challenger with his electrifying rail game. He might be limping on the sand, but Morgs is showing no signs of slowing down in the water. He’s worked up a head full of steam and has nothing to lose from here on in. Ryan was equally impressive in his victory, downing Owen Wright in the battle of the tour’s lankiest goofy footers.

Both Ryan and Morgan have reaped the rewards of their intimate knowledge of Merewether’s intricacies throughout the week. They’ve consistently sniffed out the best opportunities, offering a comprehensive masterclass on how to surf the Rocks. The downside to Ryan and Morgs’ awe-inspiring quarter-final births? They’ll be squaring off against each other in what will be a bittersweet matchup for the Merewether faithful tomorrow.

Giant killer Morgan Cibilic will meet hometown hero ryan Callinan in tomorrow's quarter-final. Photo: WSL/Dunbar

The mouth-watering faceoff has been met with mixed emotions from the hometown crowd. Some are looking at it as a glass-half-full and are stoked that we’re guaranteed to see a local in the semis. The more pessimistic punters are disgruntled that these two are only meeting in the quarters, with their form suggesting they both had what it takes to go even deeper into the competition.

Five out of the eight remaining Men’s surfers are Brazilian, and it might just take the local knowledge of either Morgs or Ryan to prevent a South American whitewash on finals day. Ítalo and Filipe are looking red-hot, but you can bet everyone on the beach will be backing a local boy to take it all the way.

With a good-looking forecast on the horizon, we’ll likely see a final’s day tomorrow. If today was anything to go by, we’ll be in for a doozy.