QS Update: Haleiwa's Done – Who's Left?

25 Nov 2019 10 Share

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

Jacob Willcox. Photo: WSL/Keoki

Jacob Willcox. Photo: WSL/Keoki

COASTALWATCH | NICK CARROLL

Australia’s QS hopefuls and their chances at Sunset.

The Hawaiian Pro is now a wrap and just one event remains on the QS schedule — the grandiose Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach.

This event, part of the first Triple Crown back in 1983, is as close to a CT as a QS can get. The winner’s list is spectacular, from old school legends like Ian Cairns, Shaun Tomson and Dane Kealoha, to surprise packages like Zane Harrison and Mike Rommelse, Hawaiian heroes like Sunny Garcia, AI, Myles Padaca and Zeke Lau, and power surfing Australians from Tom Carroll to Jake Paterson to Parko and Fanning. It’s also the only major contest that can lay claim to have truly baffled the GOAT — Kelly’s never got near it and is notably not in the draw this time round.

It’s a hard nut to crack but pretty much every Australian surfer still yet to secure qualification will have to crack it.

WHO’S ALL CLEAR?

Connor O’Leary’s pretty much a lock after Haleiwa. That goes for the rest of the top seven, none of whom are Australian: Frederico Morais, Jadson Andre, Yago Dora, Alex Ribiero, Migeul Pupo and Matthew McGillivray. Deivid Silva, in eighth, can still qualify through the CT so let’s leave him out for now. Jack Freestone’s on the QS rankings in near to qualifying position but he’s gonna qualify through the CT for sure. Good job Jack.

WHO CAN MAKE IT AND HOW?

Let’s say the QS final rankings cut-off will be 19,000. Maybe kinda generous but we’ll see. How does the Aussie contingent look under those circumstances?

Matt Banting: holding 16,750, will need to bump a 2200 off the bottom, so has to extract about 4500 points from Sunset. That’s a semi-final. A quarter-final third place will get him to 18,000-plus which might just be enough, but a semi would definitely do it.

Morgan Cibilic: is on 15,500 but only needs to bump a 1000. Pretty much exactly the same situation as Banting.

Ethan Ewing: blew up the rankings with his final at Haleiwa, jumping 24 places — which kinda shows you how fragile the QS top 50 really is. Ethan has 14,540 and needs to bump just 840 to improve further. A semi will get him into the ’20 CT, where on the current evidence of his performance, he belongs.

Liam O’Brien: drifted back a bit, now has 14,400 and must drop an 1100. A semi might do it, a final definitely would.

Stu Kennedy: also went back a bit, has 13,925 and will drop 1050. Top three would secure it, maybe a final would.

Jack Robinson: drifted down too, has 13,190 and will drop a 1260. Needs a top two result unless a lot of other things drop right for him.

Jacob Willcox: hopefully didn’t take that loss to Kelly’s carnival snap too hard. Has 12,660 and will throw 1050. Sorta same position as Jack.

Caleb Tancred and Jordy Lawler: would both need to win the event to have a shot at qualifying.

SURF:

Looks shifty to me, a switch to north swells and stronger trades which is very typical of late November/early December. Expect to see very up and down days, lay days when Kona wind bands come through, some flatness, a day or so of solid north swell with the end section going nuts, and the outside chance of a real bomb toward the end of the waiting period.

LULULEMON MAUI PRO:

The girls are gonna get it. A fair bit of waiting but there’s good angles in the first swell set for late this coming weekend, and if the second one bombs, well Honolua loves bombs.

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