Local Ryan Callinan dealt wild card into Burton Toyota Pro

Ryan Callinan, Merewether - backhand hack.  Image; ASP

Ryan Callinan, Merewether – backhand hack. Image; ASP

Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Wednesday 23rd January, 2013.   MEREWETHER’S Ryan Callinan has been dealt a wild card by Surfest organisers into the round of 96 for the Burton Toyota Pro that gets underway at Newcastle on February 18.

One of Newcastle’s best competitive prospects over the past decade, the 20-year-old goofy-footer is aiming to make the list of the top 100 surfers on the planet after suffering injuries to his right ankle in 2011 and left ankle in 2012.

He is currently sitting at 241 in the Association of Surfing Professional’s men’s world rankings.

“Sure, it’s been a frustrating time and a pretty up-and-down couple of years,” Callinan said.

“In 2011 I broke my right ankle in Bali when landing an aerial and just on a year ago I did the ligaments in my left ankle at the world junior titles at Burleigh.

“I have been doing a lot of strength work on my legs and I am about 98 per cent right.

“I know that a lot of the strength needed after injury is mental strength.

“I have got the faith back in my legs to know they’ll stand up to the kind of aerial surfing I want to do and know I can do.

“Being sure my legs will be okay is what I have been working on. I now have that confidence to go for it full-on,” he said.

Callinan will leave for China this Saturday to get his 2013 campaign underway at the 4-Star Hainan Classic.

“After China, I will do Burleigh, Newcastle, then the Margaret trials and possibly a 4-Star in the USA,” Callinan said.

Organisers of the Burton Toyota Surfest have been inundated with entries in both the Burton Toyota Open and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic. Entries for the 2013 event closed today.

Surfest chief Warren Smith said he was dealing with the “best problem we could have.”

“We have received 182 entries for 144 spots in the men’s and 84 entries for 60 spots in the women’s,” he said.

“Surfest officials are discussing with the ASP the logistics of running trials for the events in Newcastle on Sunday February 17.

“We will know by Friday night if and how those trials will be run and that still gives surfers sufficient time to make plans to surf the trials.

“If we go ahead with the trials, surfers will be competing for four spots to the round of 144 for the men and two spots to the round of 60 for the women,” Mr Smith said.

For further information contact Warren Smith on 0412127525.

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About the 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia
The 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia features the Burton Toyota Pro (Men’s ASP 6-Star) and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic (Women’s ASP 6-Star), along with eight supporting events. The event is made possible with the support of Burton Toyota, the Hunter Sports Sports Group, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government through Destination NSW. Surfest Newcastle Australia is conducted over 12 days from February 13-24 at Merewether beach, a recognised Australian National Surfing Reserve. Merewether is home to festival patron and Australia’s most accomplished men’s world professional surfing champion, four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82) and presents the winner a trophy in his likeness. 2013 marks the festival’s 28th year and with over 800 national and international competitors, Surfest Newcastle Australia is the largest festival of surfing in the southern hemisphere. Get up-to-the minute updates, photos and interviews, as well as the program of events at surfest.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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