DAY four of competition at Newcastle Surfest’s Burton Automotive Pro QS6,000 has seen some of surfing’s biggest names, including Culburra Beach's Owen Wright, dip out of contention, as a pack of hungry qualifying series competitors put their case forward for the 2019 season.
Merewether saw deteriorating 2-to-3 foot bumpy waves on Thursday, with cross-shore winds playing as the perfect enhancer for some of the best aerial surfers on the planet.
At an event in which his brother Mikey is the defending champion, Owen struggled in his opening round of the event - finishing fourth in heat 24.
His scores of 4.40 and 4.27, for a combined 8.67, saw him finish behind United States' Cole Houshmand (11.43), Australia's Lliam Mortensen (9.83) and Japan's Reo Inaba (9.77).
Fellow Culburra Beach Boardrider Ty Watson (10.66) was also knocked out in round four, being edged out by Uruguay's Marco Giorgi (13.47), Japan's Hiroto Ohhara (12.73) and Portugal's Frederico Morais (11.27).