WOMEN’S world champion Tyler Wright was excited to see what her younger brother, Mikey, could produce this year with a renewed focus on the qualifying series.
On Sunday, Mikey showed exactly why with a sensational performance to claim the 6000-point Burton Automotive Pro at Merewether and the Mark Richards Trophy.
The 21-year-old from Culburra produced a barrage of powerful snaps to earn best scores of 9 and 9.2 and defeat Hawaiian 18-year-old Barron Mamiya 18.2 to 16.17. Wright had two throwaway seven-pointers and an 8.67 in less than ideal surf.
It was Wright’s first QS victory and came a week after he starred in Culburra’s Australian Boardriders Battle triumph at Newcastle.
“I think it’s his first year with full commitment so I’m excited to see what he’s going to come up with,” Tyler said.
“Just with his commitment to the sport, I know he’s going to shine because he’s amazing to watch.”
The victory puts Mikey in an excellent position to join Tyler and older brother Owen on the championship tour next year.
“Last year was kind of my first year trying to get on tour and I started out not starting in the first round and not in the primes, so to get away with a win in the first event, it’s a real confidence booster but now it’s reset and onto the next one,” Mikey said.
He said he had “put more heart into” preparing for the QS this year.
“I’ve changed up a lot of things and it all seems to be working so I’m going to keep going with them,” he said.
“It’s always been a drive to be on tour with my brother and sister, and it’s great to travel around with them.
“I don’t get to see them too often and when I do, it’s pretty sick. It would be good.”
He said it was “definitely a special thing” to have Tyler, who was runner-up in the women’s pro, at the contest.
“She’s been here the whole event with us and she’s more just a support,” he said. “I kind of knew what I was doing before the heats and I knew what I was doing in the heats.
“She wasn’t really telling me too much, she was more of a sounding board, something to bounce things off.”
The contest was Mamiya’s first 6000-point event and the start of his maiden QS campaign.
“I’ve always wanted to qualify for the CT so starting off with a second place is great,” Mamiya said.
“If you told me two weeks ago I was going to be in the final, I would have said you were crazy. I was just super stoked to make the man-on-man.”