LOOKING AHEAD: Merewether surfer Ryan Callinan in action at the MEO Rip Curl Pro at Supertubos on Thursday (AEDT) against Gabriel Medina. Picture: WSLRyan Callinan was focused on sticking to his own game on the championship tour after ending his amazing European stint with a controversial loss to world No.1 Gabriel Medina in Portugal.
The Merewether surfer lost 13.6 to 7.33 in round three but itwas far closer than the score indicated. Callinan, competing on the CT again as a wildcard, trailed 13.6 to 12.76 and needed a 6.28 when the pair had a fierce paddle battle with one minute,40 seconds left. Medina had priority and Callinan the inside line when they paddled into a wave. Medina grabbed Callinan and appealed to judges as both pulled out.Officials later hit Callinan with an interference call, which wiped his second-best score, a 5.43.
The dramatic end took nothing away from Callinan’s tear on the CT, which came after victory in the 10,000-point qualifying series contest in Portugal last month. Itall but secured hisspot on the 2019 CT and gave him a start at the Quiksilver Pro France, where he lost the final to Julian Wilson.
“I’ve had an amazing run over here. I can’t be disappointed at all,” Callinan said after the loss to Medina.“I’m so happy just to be here and to be here so long.
“He’s a ferocious competitor and I guess that’s why he’s got the yellow jersey, but it’s always good to have a battle with the guy in yellow. He’s obviously the best in the world right now and just to try and push me and push myself to overcome him, it was exciting.”
Asked if he neededto battle harder for continued success on the CT, he said: “I don’t think so.I think my wave selection was maybe a little bit off …I tried to make him make a mistake but it kind of backfired on me unfortunately.I don’t think I need to battle hard, just stick to my own game and try not to get caught up in everything that’s going on.”
Medina, who lost to Callinan in the semi-final of the QS event in Portugal, was relieved to get through. The win kept him on track to claim the world title, possibly at the current event at Supertubos.
“He was a really dangerous guy to surf against,” Medina said.
“He’s been having a good time with results and everything has been working for him, so he was like a sketchy guy, so yeah, no space.”
Meanwhile, Merewether’s Philippa Anderson won her first heat at the 3000-point Hyuga Pro in Japan on Friday with a 13.1 total.