RUNNER-UP: Ryan Callinan.MEREWETHER goofy-footer Ryan Callinan led for most of his round-two heat before progressing with a second place at the six-star world qualification series Los Cabos Open of Surf in Mexico.
In need of a solid result after three early exits on the WQS this year, the 22-year-old earned wave scores of 6.43 and 6.73 on his second and third rides in two- to four-foot waves at San Jose del Cabo in Baja Sur.
The scores gave him a narrow lead in the heat from countryman Mitch Coleborn, Hawaiian Evan Geiselman and Peru’s Gabriel Villaran.
Coleborn pulled out a 8.17 with his final wave to take the heat win 15.5 to 13.16 from Callinan, who stayed ahead of Geiselman (12.43) and Villaran (12.34) to progress to round three.
Callinan will face fellow Australians Jay Thompson and Connor O’Leary and American Corey Arrambide in the next round.
The women’s event featuring Merewether’s Philippa Anderson was due to start overnight.
Anderson was approaching the event as make or break for his 2014 WQS campaign after a poor start to the year.
She gained a boost before her round-two heat with the news that this year’s Surfest champion and WCT star Malia Manuel had withdrawn due to a hand injury sustained at Cloudbreak in Fiji last month.
Anderson was due to face the Hawaiian in her heat but will now take on Argentinian Ornella Pellizzari along with Peru’s Anali Gomez and another round-one qualifier.