Connor O’Leary's survival rookie year on the world tour is still on track after a fighting third round loss to Mick Fanning at the Oi Rio Pro.
O’Leary leaves Brazil with another good 13th place result after three-time WSL champion Fanning closed out the day with the elimination of O’Leary in a fiery round three battle. The heat went down to a nail-biting last exchange in the final minutes with O’Leary firstly gaining control before Fanning threw down a critical 7.17 for the controversial win.
Despite his close loss, O’Leary showcased a new level to his surfing with his authoritative round two win against fellow Aussie Stuart Kennedy. O’Leary clearly dominated the heat with two near-perfect nine-point rides for an incredible 18.20 combined score.
The 23-year-old now heads to CT event number five, the Outerknown Fiji Pro at Namotu, Tavarua, Fiji, the first event on lefthanders where he is on his forehand.
The Central Coast’s North Shelly Boardriders have taken out the Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian Championships at North Narrabeen Beach to win the club’s first ever Australian title.
O’Leary's Elouera Boardriders team mates had to settle for equal fifth place as the defending champions North Narrabeen posted some big scores but ran out of time with their fifth surfer Nathan Webster unable to catch his powerwave.
Noosa Boardriders were the surprise packet of the event, just beating the highly-rated Elouera in the second semi-final and blocking their path to the final.
“As a team we performed really well but the great thing for us is we didn't reach our full potential that I know we can get to,” Elouera’s highest-ranked surfer Shane Campbell said.
"We have one of the strongest teams in Australia and I think people know that now and we are a threat. We always have fun and we will be back better next year."
In the women’s division, D’Bah Boardriders went back to back to back, winning their third straight Sailor Jerry Surftag Australian title with the Cronulla Christian surfers finishing seventh.
We have had some waves this week with the Small easterly swell fading over the weekend but it remained just big enough for some rideable waves-the swell picked up this morning but most of todays pics are contest pics because I actually had to work!
Tuesday was a little bigger than Monday’s offering but Swellnet predicts the winds will freshen from the S/SW as a low develops off the Far South Coast.
Wednesday(today) morning is the pick of the short term forecast period with south facing beaches seeing early 4ft sets, easing during the day and fading into the weekend where we won’t see much in the way of quality surf. The banks are pretty average on the low tide so if you can wait-wait.
Closer to home, the Sydney South Junior Regional titles were held at the North Cronulla Alley on Saturday in small but contestable waves.
Super grommet Jarvis Earle kept on his winning run taking the under-14s boys title from Kalani Vandepolder. Jay Brown and Nathan Rohr finished third and fourth in the under-18s, Georgia Morrow won the under-18s girls and Maxime Rayer placed second in the under-16s boys with Jetson Kuch in fourth place.
Joel Cornock finished third in the under 12 boys and the u16 girls was won by April Davey with Summer Halliwell-Quinn in 3rd place.
All surfers progress to the state titles, a stepping stone to the Aussie crown.
Aussie Tyler Wright claimed victory at the Oi Rio Women’s Pro presented by Corona, the fourth stop on the World Surf League Championship Tour, after defeating Johanne Defay in an intense Final at the celebrated Praia de Itaúna in Saquarema.
Wright’s victory is her first of the 2017 season and third in Rio de Janeiro (2013, 2016, 2017), which earns her a place in the record books alongside Australian legend Pauline Menczer for tied wins at this event. In addition, the feat boosts Wright to the top of the Jeep Leaderboard. The Reigning WSL Champion will now share the coveted Jeep Leader Jersey with six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) heading into the OK Fiji Pro.
1 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 29,700 pts
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 29,700 pts
3 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 28,200 pts
4 - Johanne Defay (FRA) 23,000 pts
5 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 21,800 pts
After the completion of the women’s event, the men ran through non-elimination Round 4 to determine the first four Quarterfinalists.
Big wave surfing has changed radically over the past decade, and Tim Bonython’s new film has showcased that in this 13th edition of the ASMF - The Big Wave Project .
The production of THE BIG WAVE PROJECT has taken Tim around the planet to interview the world’s most renowned big wave surfers and to record the biggest and most death-defying waves.
Get down to Cronulla cinema tomorrow (Thursday May 18) and see travels across Australia, Tahiti and finally to Europe's new biggest frontier ,Nazaré, in Portugal-If your game to take the drop.