RYAN Callinan has lost his round-of-32 heat match-up with Sunshine Coast wild-card Reef Heazlewood, leaving Morgan Cibilic to carry Newcastle's hopes.
In small and inconsistent surf at Merewether, Callinan was unable to find the waves, or land the aerials, that his fellow goofy-footed opponent found on the Narrabeen lefts.
Heazlewood scored 12.5 with a 6.67 and a 5.83 as the best of six waves, easily outscoring Callinan's 7 points from a 4.17 and 2.83 from five waves.
The commentators said Callinan's all-round power and aerial game against an aerial specialist who had an incredibly high landing rate.
He proved their point, going to the air on most of his waves and making all of them.
Callinan exits with a 17th place, which will see him slip down from his current leader board position of equal fourth.
NEWCASTLE'S Morgan Cibilic has continued his giant-killing run, knocking his adopted Novocastrian mate Julian Wilson out of the Narrabeen Cup.
Cibilic did the deed during heat eight of the men's round of 32, setting up a round of 16 battle with John John Florence, who he bundled out of the contest at the Newcastle Cup.
Cibilic waited until half way through his heat to land a 6 to overtake Wilson's two waves totalling 5.17 at that point.
He caught just two waves to Wilson's seven, but his opening ride and a follow-up 4.67 combined to make 10.67 points - enough to dispose of Wilson's 2.7 and 4.73 for a 7.43 total and a 17th place.
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Wilson failed to complete some aerial manoeuvres that would have helped his score.
As if to underline the split second moments that determine heat wins - and the skill level at the very top of the pile - world champ Italo Ferreira in the next heat landed two big aerials in his first two waves against Mick Fanning, entering and exiting the manoeuvres at full speed.
Ferreira won fairly easily in the inconsistent and small beach-break conditions at Narrabeen, 13 to 9.33.
Fanning said afterwards he had "enjoyed the process" of coming out of retirement for his wild-card start.
The commentators noted how calm Cibilic was under pressure, and how Wilson, now 32, had struggled to put together good results in recent years.
"These guys have been on the championship tour for a decade and he is just charging through them," Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew said of Cibilic's victories over John John Florence in Newcastle, and Wilson now.
Interviewed afterwards, Cibilic commented on the lack of waves, saying "that heat was ridiculously slow".
"The heat before wasn't too busy, and I thought we'd get a bunch of those lefts that have been coming through all arvo," Cibilic said.
"Then it literally didn't break the whole time, and I kind of held my nerve and got one and then played it smart [with priority] and super lucky I came out on top."
In heat 10, Central Coast surfer Wade Carmichael fell in a tight heat to American surfer Conner Coffin.
Ryan Callinan takes on fellow Aussie Reef Heazlewood in heat 16, the final match-up of the day.
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