GOOD START: Stu Kennedy reached the quarter-finals of the Sydney Surf Pro.
GOOD START: Stu Kennedy reached the quarter-finals of the Sydney Surf Pro. Contributed

Kennedy in ominous form at Sydney Pro

LENNOX Head's Stu Kennedy delivered on his potential with a great result at the 2019 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 6000 event at Manly Beach.

Kennedy scored a quarter-final finish where he was bettered by eventual winner Jordan Lawler.

Kennedy struggled to find a quality wave in the 25-minute clash with inconsistent conditions on offer.

He gained 2650 points for his equal fifth result and won US$2500. He is now ranked 18th on the QS ratings ladder.

Kennedy is still recovering from injuries.

Based on his points last year, he will most likely keep these points in his end-of-year final tally with surfers' best five results counting.

Bigger points are available at the QS 10,000 events but these events are also much more competitive with the addition of many more surfers from the CT ranks.

The 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour will host the biggest year in surfing and bring in major changes.

The main features are: new format updates, equal prizemoney, and qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The new format changes in a nutshell feature a reduction in the number of heats required to finish an event which will allow for events to run in less time to take advantage of short-term swell windows.

It means a competitor can be eliminated without getting to surf a man-on-man heat and, with inconsistent waves, three-man heats can often be decided by luck.

All the CT events in 2019 will offer equal prizemoney for men and women and all other events managed by the WSL will also.

The world rankings at the end of the 2019 CT season will determine 18 of the 40 places at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (10 men and eight women).

The remaining 22 places will be determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation, Japan (if they have not already qualified through the mentioned routes).

The 18 places allocated at the WSL CT come with a condition that a country cannot qualify more than two athletes per gender.

This means that if Australia qualifies three athletes, only two can go to the Games and the other place is allocated to the next highest ranked.



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