Merewether surfer Ryan Callinan’s tear on the championship tour continued with a round-one win at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal after clubmate Morgan Cibilic sealed his first senior World Surf League title back in Australia.
Callinan posted a 9.53 out of 20 total in choppy, wind-blown conditions at Peniche to defeat Ezekiel Lau (9) and Owen Wright (6.5) in the event’s first heat to progress directly to round three.
The 26-year-old, a CT competitor in 2016, is on a high after all but sealing his tour return for next year with a 10,000-point qualifying series event win in Portugal before making the final at the Quiksilver Pro France as an injury replacement wildcard last week.
“It’s awesome,” Callinan said after Tuesday’s heat win.
“I came over for two weeks and I’ve been here over a month now. And it looks like I’m going to be staying a bit longer, but it's been an amazing trip. Really overwhelming but really cool.
“I was pretty overwhelmed the last few days with everything that’s happened and I just feel I’ve got to try to kind of reset and refocus a little bit, but it’s really tricky out there.
“When I came here [in 2016] it was pretty small and kind of chunky, but nothing like this. I’m just trying to get used to the line-up and not get caught in too many rips.”
Merewether Surfboard Club had more reason to celebrate on Tuesday after Cibilic won the 1000-point Mandurah Pro in Western Australia.
The teenager defeated Duke Nagtzaam in the final 16.5 to 12.8 to complete a clean sweep of heat wins and jump to 108th on the QS.
“This is my first QS win ever and it’s my first QS final as well,” Cibilic said.
“The waves have been firing for the past couple of days and I’m over the moon to surf in the final with Duke who I’ve been travelling with this year.”
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