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Ryan’s Return to the Fold
At the time of writing, Newcastle’s Ryan Callinan heads to Hawaii with his qualification for the 2019 World Tour sewn up. This year he’ll be able to enjoy his North Shore campaign, safe in the knowledge he will be back where he belongs when the tour kicks off at Snapper. There’ll be no last minute qualification anxiety. No need for biting fingernails or crossing fingers. Just a nice Hawaiian vacation, and if anyone deserves one it’s Ryan.
You see, in 2016 Ryan achieved his greatest dream when he first qualified for the tour, but he also came face to face with his worst nightmare with the passing of his father, Gary. Grief took its toll on Ryan’s rookie season and he only managed three heat wins – far below the potential of the talented screw foot.
Again in 2017, Ryan’s quest to reclaim his spot on tour was derailed by the unexpected death of his mother. As anyone would do, Ryan took time away from competing to heal and come to terms with the loss of both his parents in such a short space of time.
At the start of 2018 Ryan pulled the jersey back on and got stuck into the QS. In May he took a win at a QS6000 in Chiba, a nice start but he would need more. Things were looking a little dicey as Ryan headed to Europe. Time was running out. However, Europe would ultimately prove to be the venue for Ryan’s rebirth. He caught fire during the QS10000 Billabong Pro Ericeira, winning it and taking down Gabriel Medina in the process.
That was enough to secure Ryan’s spot on tour for 2019, but it also earned him the wildcard into the Quiksilver Pro in France. Ryan carried his new-found spark into the WCT event, smashing every heat to make the final, where he was only just beaten by Julian Wilson.
There’s no surfer more deserving of a spot on tour next year than Ryan Callinan, and we can’t wait to see what he does.