Ryan Callinan has put celebrations on ice, at least partly, afterreturninghome from the best month of his surfing life.
SITTING PRETTY: Ryan Callinan is all but assured of a championship tour return in 2019. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
And while the Merewether goofy-footer doesn’t want to say he’s back on the championship tour for 2019 just yet, he is looking forward to a far more relaxing time atthe season finale in Hawaii after his remarkable revivalon the sport’s biggest stage.
Callinan had the biggest win of his career, taking outthe 10,000-point Ericeira Pro in Portugal to all but secure his 2019 CT spot and gain a wildcard into the France Pro.
Back on the tour he competed full-time on in 2016, the 26-year-old shockedOwen Wright, then-tour leader Filipe Toledo, former world champion Adriano de Souza, Jordy Smith and Conner Coffin before narrowly losing the final to friend Julian Wilson. It gave him another CT wildcard, into the Portugal Po, where he won a heat before pushing world No.1 Gabriel Medina all the way.
He was the talk of the surfing world aftergoing from a qualifying series contender to a giant-killingfactor in the championship race.
Asked if his feet were back on the ground yet on Wednesday, Callinan laughed: “Only just. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, that’s for sure. It was an interesting few weeks because I’ve felt like I belonged there for a while, but to see it all come together was pretty amazing.”
Second on the QS, Callinan looks assured ofa top 10 ranking and return to the CT with two 10,000-point events remaining in Hawaii. He arrived home Monday and heads to Hawaii on November 7 ready to cap a remarkable year and comeback following the loss of hisparents, Garry and Janice, since he qualified for the 2016 CT.
“I don’t want to say I definitely am, but I had a few people say that I was confirmed, but I’d still like to make some heats in Hawaii,” he said of qualifying.“But I’m in as good a position as I possibly could be in. I think it will be quite relaxing in Hawaii for me.And I’m only dropping a second-round result [from the top five], so if I make one or two heats, I should improve on my points which should basically secure me.
“It’s crazy. I never really thought I’d be the guy thatwasgoing into Hawaii just relaxing. I always thought I’d be the guy scrapping it out and needing results and just getting by, so it’sreally cool.”
The Billabong-backed starcould also gain another wildcard into the final CT contest of the year, the Pipe Masters.
“It’s a Billabong event so I think I’m definitely in the trials,” he said.“The main event, I’m not sure what they’ll do but there’s a few injuries still and Adriano just hurt himself.I’m just taking it as it comes. If I’m in the mainevent it’s a bonus.”
As for celebrations, he said: “I had some over there, some little ones, and I’ve just been trying to catch up with some friends around here, but no huge parties. I’m trying to keep it pretty tame.
“I think the boardridersclub are planning something, but I don’t want to count my chickens.I think the celebrations will be more about the two results, and maybe there will be another one once it’s all said and done.”