The local seeds and wildcard Jacko Baker are in the water this morning at the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup this morning.
A surf check this morning showed again how much the big storm swell that ripped into the Hunter's beaches last month has gouged out the banks, with swell bumps staying annoyingly unbroken until the shorebreak along much of the Merewether to Bar Beach stretch, except for the reefs at either end where the bottom can't be forced deeper.
The high tide was at 5.43 am on the charts, so the tide is on the run-out, which should improve the wave quality.
This morning is the only guaranteed chance to see the Hunter's hopes, including adopted Queenslander Julian Wilson in the water, as a loss in this round of 32 sees them bundled out of the competition.
MARGINAL: The contest conditions are not perfect but the man-on-man nature of the knockout system means it will be action regardless. Picture: WSL screen grab
In heat four, Wilson, in the higher-seeded red jersey, takes on fellow Aussie Jack Robinson.
In heat five, Cibilic, in black, faces dual world champion and 2021 ratings leader John John Florence, in red
In heat seven, Ryan Callinan is in red against rising American Crosby Colapinto.
In heat nine, Jackson "Jacko" Baker has a career high point against a raging red-hot favourite in reigning world champ Italo Ferreira, of Brazil.
In the opening heat of this morning Brazilian Gabriel Medina is up against Australian Connor O'Leary.
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