Kieren Perrow
Kieren Perrow Contributed

Crunch time for Melling, Perrow

THE futures of Far North Coast surfers Adam Melling and Kieren Perrow will hang in the balance when they compete in the final World Championship Tour event of the year, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii.

The pair need to score well to retain their WCT spots.

Melling has been competing in a string of third-tier events to improve his ranking points.

"Pipeline will determine whether Melling and Perrow sit inside or outside the world tour next year," Surfing Australia media manager Steve Robertson said.

Robertson has backed Perrow as a stand-out when Pipeline begins tomorrow.

"He (Perrow) surprised a lot of people this year and he's been able to hang in there," Robertson said.

"Pipeline suits him because he has no fear and is a very good barrel rider.

"He is a veteran, but he looks rejuvenated and hopefully he can stay on the tour."

Robertson says Lennox Head surfers James Wood and Stu Kennedy need to improve in the World Qualifying Series in 2012 if they want to crack the main stage.

"They were both way short of qualifying for the WCT," he said.

"Both of them will be on the WQS again next year and they'll need to do better."

Robertson couldn't go past Lennox Head surfers Owen and Tyler Wright as the stand-outs this year.

Tyler Wright finished fourth in her debut year on the women's world tour.

Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew, who was in Byron Bay for a charity lunch recently, backs Owen Wright as the one to topple 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

"He's in the box seat and he has to be the number one contender next year," Bartholomew said.

"Owen is a brilliant kid. Not only is he a great surfer but he is a sponge for information and takes it all in.

"There are so many things going for him. His attitude and willingness to learn make him a complete surfer."

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