Australia will have three new faces on next year’s World Surf League championship tour after the conclusion of the qualifying challenger series in Hawaii.
Callum Robson, Liam O’Brien and Jackson Baker all finished within the qualification spots to secure a spot on next year’s tour.
O’Brien, from the Gold Coast, and Novacastrian Baker have been close to qualification before, but this was Evans Head product Callum Robson’s first attempt to secure a championship tour berth.
“I was over the moon,” Robson said.
“One of my good mates Liam (O’Brien), qualified as well so it’s just awesome. It’s an awesome day.
“Back home at Surfing Australia they’re doing a great job of pushing us all to travel together and band together, support each other, so it’s been working well. Everyone’s here supporting each other and it’s awesome.”
The trio will be joined by former tour surfer Connor O’Leary, who confirmed his spot in next year’s WSL last week.
American star John John Florence won the season-ending challenger event in Haleiwa, scoring a perfect 10 in the four-man final to defeat Australia’s Jack Robinson, Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and Brazil’s Samuel Pupo.
“That was a good run and it was funny because John and I were in a paddle battle before he just turned and went on a wave,” said Robinson, who had already retained his tour berth following an impressive rookie season in 2021.
“That put him in a good rhythm with those two waves and I turned around thinking what just happened. But it was such a fun event and a good tune-up for next year.”
Next year’s tour starts in Hawaii at Pipeline from January 29.