'I'm ready!' Jack Robinson qualifies for championship tour

Robinson was chaired up the beach by North Shore mainstays Tai Van Dyke and Kai Mana Henry, along with Volcom's Matt Bemrose. Credit: WSL / Keoki
Robinson was chaired up the beach by North Shore mainstays Tai Van Dyke and Kai Mana Henry, along with Volcom's Matt Bemrose. Credit: WSL / Keoki

Jack Robinson (AUS) earned an exalted victory today at the Vans World Cup of Surfing with the best Final heat total in Sunset Beach history and claimed the last spot on the World Surf League (WSL) Men's 2020 Championship Tour (CT) by way of the Qualifying Series (QS).

The second event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and final WSL QS competition of the year, Robinson earned 10,000 points to surge from No. 22 on the QS to No. 5 and edge out runner-up Ezekiel Lau (HAW) from CT requalification. Robinson will join the world's best for his very first run on the dream tour.

Jack Robinson feeling on top of the world after a massive victory and a spot on the 2020 Championship Tour. Finalists Cody Young (blue), Ethan Ewing (green) and Ezekiel Lau (red) joined him on stage during the Vans World Cup of Surfing awards presentation. Credit: WSL / Keoki

Jack Robinson feeling on top of the world after a massive victory and a spot on the 2020 Championship Tour. Finalists Cody Young (blue), Ethan Ewing (green) and Ezekiel Lau (red) joined him on stage during the Vans World Cup of Surfing awards presentation. Credit: WSL / Keoki

A key element to his success, Robinson found choice barrels under priority and racked up a colossal 19.07 two-wave total in the Final, touted as the greatest result in the entire history of competitive surfing at Sunset Beach, which spans over four decades.

"I was on point," said Robinson. "We're ready. It was a while coming. A lot of build-up to this. I felt like I wanted to get on [the CT] earlier but it happens when it happens.

"Time is the owner of it sometimes. Been working really hard this year clearing things up in my mind and I'm in a good place. I'm ready!"

The final was a hefty mix of talent including Ethan Ewing (AUS) and Maui's Cody Young (HAW), who took third and fourth place respectively, and held heavy implications for all four athletes.

Lau's loss was the biggest of all as his second-place result put him just shy of the points needed to re-qualify. The Hawaiian was on fire throughout the entire competition and won every heat up until the Final, but needed to win the event to ascend to the 2020 CT.

Robinson's brilliance was undeniably incomparable. He found barrels by design and went to work early, only to throw away 7-point rides for near-perfect 9's.

Robinson's brilliance was undeniably incomparable. He found barrels by design and went to work early, only to throw away 7-point rides for near-perfect 9's.

With fifteen minutes left in the 35-minute heat, Robinson hunted a gem and stalled to maximise his time in the tube for a 9.40 to combo the field.

Straight offshore easterly winds groomed Sunset's barrel section as the north swell delivered waves in the 6-8ft. range and Robinson went on to post a 9.67 for a powerful turn in the pocket followed by another throaty barrel.

He made a statement by absolutely dominating the field with the event's highest single wave score, heat total, and the win.

Robinson found every good barrel in the Final through expert wave knowledge at Sunset Beach. Credit: WSL / Heff

Robinson found every good barrel in the Final through expert wave knowledge at Sunset Beach. Credit: WSL / Heff

"I've been surfing out here a long time, I don't know, maybe Sunset just threw me a lucky charm," continued Robinson.

"It came together, that's how I wanted a final to come together. I feel like I built up this whole time, I wasn't really surfing my best the whole time and then when the sections came, then I did what I could. I did the best I could for that wave so I felt like I peaked at the right time."

Top 10 Surfers from 2019 Qualifying Series:

#1 Frederico Morais (PRT)

#2 Jadson Andre (BRA)

#3 Yago Dora (BRA)

#4 Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)

#5 Jack Robinson (AUS)

#6 Alex Ribeiro (BRA)

#7 Miguel Pupo (BRA)

#8 Ethan Ewing (AUS)

#9 Connor O'Leary (AUS)

#10 Deivid Silva (BRA)