UPDATE: Ryan Callinan’s hopes of re-qualifying for a second year on the World Surf League championship tour appear all but over after a round-three loss at the World Cup at Sunset Beach on Sunday morning (AEDT).
The Merewether goofy-footer finished last in his four-man heat at the 10,000-point qualifying series contest, the final one of the year on the second tier, to remain on 16,250 points.
Callinan was ninth on the rankings heading into the event needing to hold his top-10 place to guarantee another year on the CT.
However, his loss and second placings for Portugal’s Frederico Morais and Brazilian Jadson Andre in round three meant Callinan had already dropped out of the QS top 10 by the end of the day.
Others could potentially leapfrog Callinan later at the World Cup, leaving him needing to receive a 2017 wildcard or have results at the CT season-ending Pipe Masters go his way to possibly make the top tour for next year.
If top 10 QS surfers qualify through finishing in the top 22 on the CT, that will open up places for the next best on the second tier.
Andre and Kanoa Igarashi are top 10 QS surfers who could potentially jump up into the CT top 22 at Pipeline this month.
On Sunday, Callinan needed an 8.01 late in his heat to progress to round four but the right wave did not come. He earned a 7.5 early but had only one back-up ride, a 0.50, to finish on 8.
Avoca’s Adrian Buchan won with 16.10 from Hawaiian Koa Smith (15.50) and Australian Connor O'Leary (12.87).
EARLIER: MEREWETHER’S Ryan Callinan kept his hopes of re-qualifying for the World Surf League championship tour alive with a nail-biting opening heat win at the World Cup at Sunset Beach on Saturday morning (AEDT).
Callinan was third in his four-man, round-two heat needing a 3.23 to progress when he caught a wave with one minute and 30 seconds left in the contest.
He completed three turns in the big, bumpy conditions to earn a 4.87, a score that dropped after the siren, to jump into first place with a 9.37 two-wave total.
Callinan is ninth on the qualifying series, where the top 10 earn a 2017 CT spot, and he needs at least two heats wins at the QS season-ending World Cup to build on his overall total and potentially keep the chasers at bay.
“It was a tricky one because I only needed a three,” Callinan said after the heat win.
“It’s kind of an awkward score because it’s not two and it’s not one turn, and you’ve got to perform, but it’s not an eight so you don’t have to go crazy,” Callinan said.
“So I kind of nursed it a little bit but I think I did what I had to do, and I was just hoping they didn’t get waves behind me.
“I was a little bit nervous, and the wind got under my board, so I was like, ‘oh no’, but it’s all good in the end.”
The 24-year-old admitted to be being “pretty nervous and stressed” leading into the contest after a first-heat exit at the Hawaiian Pro.
His 9.37 on Saturday was enough to beat Frenchman Marc Lacomare (8.73) and Hawaiians Elijah Gates (7.73) and Kiron Jabour (6.73).
He faces countrymen Adrian Buchan and Connor O'Leary and Hawaiian Koa Smith in round three.