Owen Wright’s bid to win back his WSL Championship Tour spot has hit another snag after the Australian was an early elimination at the Sydney Surf Pro.
Wright couldn’t make it past the round of 96 at Manly Beach on Thursday after finishing third in his four-man heat.
The Olympic bronze medallist posted a two-wave score of 12.80, leaving him just 0.17 short of securing a spot in the round of 48.
The result marks his second straight early exit on the secondary Challenger Series tour since being relegated from the Championship Tour.
Fellow Australian Julian Wilson fared much better on Thursday in the two-to-three foot waves, winning his four-man heat to seal his progress.
“These waves on the Challenger Series are good and I’m enjoying getting back into competition,” Wilson, who is a former winner at Manly Beach, said.
“Surfing four-man heats is definitely a change to what I was used to and you really have to be hungry in the water to get the best waves and be prepared to fight for those waves.
“But I’m becoming more familiar with the format and the waves here at Manly and feel like I can keep improving on my scores.”
Australian Morgan Cibilic, Ryan Callinan and Brazilian Willian Cardoso were among the other surfers to progress, but Jesse Mendes, Adrian Buchan, and Frederico Morais were eliminated.
Brazilian Alejo Muniz made an impressive return from injury to secure his spot in the round of 48.
“I’m coming off an injury I sustained in Argentina a few months ago but I’m getting better quickly and no matter what I’ll do my best regardless,” Muniz said.