CULBURRA Beach's Mikey Wright is just one heat win away from securing an injury wildcard berth onto the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
At Banzai Pipeline on Tuesday, the Culburra Beach Boardrider and Italy's Leo Fioravanti duked it out during two hotly contested heats.
Wright won the first 11.54 to 11.33, before the Italian hit back in the second (9.17 to 8.97) - meaning it will all fall on the third and final heat when surfing resumes in Hawaii on Wednesday.
Both athletes were forced to qualifying for the 2021 CT season this way after sustaining back and shoulder injuries in 2019 respectively.
In other news from Oahu, Hawaii's Joshua Moniz (HAW) and Peru's Miguel Tudela finished first and second respectively at the Pipeline Invitational, to book the two wildcard spots on offer for the first event of the 2021 men's CT, the Pipeline Masters.
At the season-opening event, Moniz will face Brazil's two-time world champion and 2015 world champion Adriano de Souza (Brazil) in heat five of the seeding round, while Tudela will have to go through 2019 world champion and reigning Pipe Master, Italo Ferreira (Brazil) in heat six.
Mikey's older brother won't compete at the Pipeline Masters, rather choosing to remain at home for the birth of his second child.
There will be no competition at the Maui Pro today following a shark incident involving a recreational surfer this morning at Honolua Bay. The WSL is working with authorities and our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Maui Pro is on hold until further notice. pic.twitter.com/AGZSkF7wKZ— World Surf League (@wsl) December 8, 2020
While their sister Tyler's hopes of winning the Maui Pro on Tuesday were dashed after the event was put on indefinite hold due a shark incident involving a recreational surfer at the location.
"The WSL is working with local authorities and our thoughts are with the victim at this moment," the WSL said in a statement.
Tyler Wright will face Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons for a spot in the Maui Pro decider when surfing resumes.
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