Sure-things and longshots to watch when Sunset resumes.
At time of writing the whole Hawaiian chain is being pounded by huge surf. Yesterday Peahi delivered arguably the best 45 minutes of big wave surfing in a contest before the event was called off due to the savage conditions. Meanwhile, on Maui, the women were putting on a show. Stephanie Gilmore clinched her seventh world title and Sally Fitzgibbons surfed the best waves of her life before being guillotined by a Honolua Bay lip and injuring her shoulder. On the North Shore, many were calling the swell as big as the last time The Eddie ran.
With swell abating on the North Shore the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset looks likely to run. Last week we crunched the numbers ahead of the final qualifying event of the season to see which CT hopefuls need what to make the cut.
Now let’s turn our attention to the Aussie CT hopefuls, the shore-things and longshots and what they require to land a spot on the dream tour.
Mikey Wright - The mad mongrel has firmly secured his spot on the 2019 Championship Tour after taking full advantage of the wildcards he was offered in 2018.
Ryan Callinan - After a barnstorming run in Europe Rhino has assured himself a spot back on Tour after missing the cut after his rookie year.
Ethan Ewing - Since falling off tour after his rookie year Ewing has been back on the QS grind. He finds himself ranked 10th on the rankings and sitting on 14,030 points requiring at least the quarterfinal or better at Sunset to hit the magic 17,000 number to requalify.
Soli Bailey - A fired up Soli displayed his intention at Haleiwa. He wants his spot on Tour bad. A Volcom Pipe Pro champion, he’s no slouch in heavy water. How that translates under pressure at Sunset will be the ultimate test. Currently ranked 16th in the world he needs a quarterfinal finish or better to make the cut.
Jack Freestone - Despite not having any real results on the QS this season Jack finds himself ranked 22nd on the QS. A solid result at Sunset and he could walk back on Tour where he belongs. He also requires a quarterfinal finish or better.
Matt Banting - Currently ranked 41st, he will need to make the final to leapfrog up the rankings and qualify for the CT. One of the sharpest rail games in the game it’s a shame to see him languishing in the QS wilderness.
Jack Robinson - A name we would love to see on Tour, Jack Robbo has a herculean task if he wants to qualify. Ranked 42nd on the QS, he too needs to make the final to qualify for the CT. Given his pedigree in heavy conditions it’s possible he could do it. However, the pressure cooker of a heat format has also been Jack’s undoing.