Merewether surfer Jackson Baker will take up a wildcard into the Central Coast Pro at Avoca from March 8 after a frustrating round-one exit at the n Open at Manly on Tuesday.
NEXT STOP: Jackson Baker competing in round one at Surfest’s 6000-point World Surf League qualifying series contest last week at Merewether. Picture: Marina Neil
Baker led his four-man heat early with scores of 6.17 and 5.6 but was thenthird needing a 7.18 to progress with just over four minutes left.He put together a ride of four turns and thought he had done enough but a 6.5 lefthim third on 12.67 behind Brazilian Marcos Correa (13.67) and Kiwi Billy Stairmand (13.34).
“I thought that wave I got near the end when I needed a seven, I thought I 100 per cent had the score. I wouldn’t have claimed it if Ididn’t,” Baker said. “I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.I think they pulled my score down a bit because my last turn wasn’t super big, but I thought I already had the job done out the back.”
On Wednesday, fellow Merewether surfer Philippa Anderson will start her campaign against Brazilian star Silvana Lima,Kobie Enright andTanika Hoffman in the women’s round three.
Clubmate Ryan Callinan was set for a tough start in round two of the men’sevent on Thursday against Brazilian Michael Rodrigues, Hawaiian Koa Smith and n Jacob Willcox.
Baker’s loss followed around-two defeat at home in Surfest, another 6000-point qualifying series event, last week.
He said it wasfrustrating not to progress at Manly after a strong heat where he felt he madeno mistakes.
Baker was set to bypass the 1000-point Avoca contest to join Merewether at the Kirra Teams event but said he would now accept a wildcard in the hunt for QS points.
He hoped a change to “a more relaxed approach” and a “nothing to lose” attitude at Avoca would help change his fortunes.