Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey’s dreams have come true with his qualification to be part of the WSL Tour in 2019, after finishing the year in 11th position on the QS tour.
Thanks to Kanoa Igarashi double-qualifying Bailey will get a first shot at surfing with the world’s best surfers next season.
His consistency in the biggest QS events of the year proved the winning ingredient with three ninth places in Ballito, Ericeira and Haleiwa, as well as a fifh at Sunset.
Soli clinched his spot on tour when he finished in the semifinal at the Vans World Cup of Surfing Qualifying Series 10,000 event in a dramatic final day of competition that unfolded at Sunset Beach in challenging five-metre surf.
Bailey fans were on the edge of their seats as he battled through the rounds with some last minute rides and some aggressive surfing to get to the final eight.
Fellow Byron Bay surfer Kyuss King made the quarters after he had been given a wildcard by his sponsor Vans.
The 18-year-old surfed beyond his years with a mature and gutsy display of surfing that had commentators gushing with praise.
At 23 years old Bailey has been working his way through the Qualifying Series since 2012; he will officially be making his Championship Tour debut in 2019 in the first week of April for the Gold Coast Pro at Snapper Rocks. Two of our local junior surfers are celebrating their success at the Australian Junior Titles held at Waitpinga Beach in South Australia.
Lennox Head’s Dembe Ryan was runner-up in the U/14 boys and Lennox Head’s Jai Glinderman finished fourth in the U/16 boys.
Competitors must first qualify to represent NSW through regional titles and then state titles.
There were excellent conditions for the finals with mechanical left-handers peeling through all day.