Connor O’Leary has leapt to the front of the Rookie queue this morning with a massive win in round four at the Fiji Pro-for the second time this year he is into the quarters and into massive points.
Another day, another top scalp when he clinically took down former world champ Joel Parkinson and France’s Joan Duru in super clean conditions-pausing happily in the channel to say hello to his Cronulla family and girlfriend.
The Outerknown Fiji Pro, Stop No. 5 of the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour, saw sensational upsets yesterday in the remaining eight heats of Round 3.
Cronulla surfer Connor had a breakthrough heat when the comp kicked off early last week and yesterday after a 7 day wait had a career highlight with a third round victory over 11 times world champ Slater.
“It is always tough to win that low scoring, but I am over the moon,” said O’Leary. “I thought the energy was there at the start, but as soon as the trades came up, it went to nothing. I was glad I had two average scores to finish it off. I made a few errors on a few waves that I could have maximized my score on, but I am stoked to win.”
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), started the upsets in the competition with his win over reigning WSL Champion and current World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW) in Round 3.
Sitting in 15th place before Fiji, stop No.5 on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour, it was O’Leary’s first straight to round three result when he took down Ian Guevara and Sebastian Zietz in his all important first round heat.
O’Leary’s half yearly report card is looking remarkable thanks to a great start and a fifth place at the Quiky Pro at Snapper Rocks and a victory over Kelly Slater at Fiji and another 5th-at least.
He is in the positive position of not losing in a first round and going for three 13th place finishes. After beating Slater yesterday and this mornings 4th round win he is into the quarters– easily the best of any first year rookie on tour.
After the Fiji Pro the world tour moves on to South Africa where O’Leary is the defending champion of the 10-star Ballito Pro event in Durban.
The tour will then hit the legendary long walls of Jefferys Bay for the Corona Open from July 12 to 23.
Cronulla’s surfing scenario had been just ticking over with some nice clean small waves on offer before yesterday's southerly blew through.
A few days of winter offshores were setting things up nicely on the reefs and beaches and when Swellnet said to “set your expectations to low if you're looking for a wave on Tuesday” they got it right!
Winds will then become light and variable into Wednesday’s 1- 2 footers,where a low pressure is tracking south and it should provide a late kick in swell on Wednesday afternoon across south facing beaches.
Thursday will be the biggest beneficiary of this south swell with early 4ft sets at south facing beaches, easing during the day and wind conditions look the best this week with light offshore breezes.
We should be left with a small NE swell for the weekend so don't waste Thursdays waves.
‘Some of NSW’s most seasoned competitors will jump back into the competitive arena when the elite four-day Surf Masters competition gets underway from the 15th – 17th June.
Local defending champ Glenn Pringle and age group finalist Ricky Marshall are some of the locals in contention for an Aussie titles start.
The prominent four-day event will see over 150 competitors - aged 35 and above - battle it out in an attempt to secure a NSW shortboard title and a spot in the national titles at the 2017 Australian Surf Festival in Tweed Heads.
The 2017 HIF NSW Surfmasters Titles presented by Moby's Beachside Retreat will once again call the Great Lakes home when the event kicks off this weekend.
Divisions for the event include: Over 35 Men, Over 35 Women, Over 40 Men, Over 45 Men, Over 50 Men, Over 55 Men, Over 60 Men and Open Single Fin.
Check out the action at Fiji and see how far Connor can go into the top end of the contest-Up Up Connor