QS rankings after Portugal
The third last 10,000 of the QS season, the Billabong Pro Ericeira, was completed over the weekend. In the final, Sam Pupo, younger brother of ex-CTer Miguel Pupo bested Stu Kennedy - another ex-CTer.
With just two 10,000 contests to go, both of them in Hawaii, a number of patterns are starting to emerge amongst this year’s CT qualifiers, as are the requisite points for all the CT aspirants.
After Ericeira, 6 of the top 10 QS surfers are from Brazil, including the top 4 places.
In contrast, Australia has just one surfer in the top 10, that being Connor O’Leary who made the Quarter Finals and jumped 5 places, as does the US with Jake Marshall. Portugal (Frederico Morais) and France (Jorgann Couzinet) make up the rest.
Without a good result at Ericeira (came 25th, knocked out in a Rd 3 heat containing 4 Aussies), Matt Banting’s mid-level consistency saw him slip five places down the rankings and outside the top 10.
Banting more than anyone requires a great result in Hawaii, as he’s already counting five solid mid-level results. For instance, a Rd 5 finish in Hawaii would see him place 9th and win 3,700 points - however he’d be throwing out his fifth result, 2,200, and only accrue 1,500. That would take him to 18,250 points putting him right on the edge of requalifying.
A Quarter Final finish (5,200 points) or better will assure him of 2020 qualification. Either results - Rd 5 or Quarters - would be Banting’s highest ever Hawaiian finish. To date his best is a 17th place, or Rd 4 - that was at the Vans World Cup in 2014.
Above Banting in 8th place is ex-CTer Connor O’Leary who jumped 5 places with his 5th place finish in Ericeira. O’Leary requires at least a Rd 5 finish to cement his place next year.
With a Rd 2 exit (73rd place, 550 points), Jack Robinson slid another five places down the ladder. In the last week he’s fallen seven places. Jack’s proven himself at Hawaii, he’s won both the Sunset Pro and Volcom Pipe Pro, however both those comps are early season events. Can he do the same when it’s qualification on the line?
Other Australians in striking distance are Liam O’Brien who leapt almost 50 places with his second place at the US Open and has backed it up with a 17th at Galicia, Stu Kennedy who jumped 35 places, up to 15th, with his 2nd place at Ericeira, and Angourie’s Morgan Cibilic who’s caught fire in the second half of the QS season and sits in 16th.
Also over the weekend Mitch Parkinson won the Sri Lanka Pro at Arugam Bay beating Oney Anwar. Parkinson scored 19.17, including a Perfect 10, in the final. He climbed 208 places, now sitting at 104th making him ineligible for the Hawaiian events.