Melling's magic moment

FORMER world surfing No 3 Danny Wills has hailed Adam Melling’s performance at Jeffreys Bay as a breakthrough for the WCT tour rookie but warned that the biggest test is still to come.

The Byron Bay born and bred Wills has followed closely the progress of Melling and knew it was only a matter of time before the penny dropped.

“I was watching Melling surf and I commented to my wife that he looked so crisp – he just needed a result,” Wills said.

Three events without a heat win had Melling struggling to stay in touch – a feeling Wills knows well.

“In my first year I didn’t win a heat for about 10 events,” he said.

“It’s not all about surfing; you have to work out the system – how the heats work and how the scoring works – and Melling has done that now.”

Wills, 35, believes Melling is now reaping the rewards of his time spent on the WQS – known as ‘the grind’.

“It’s such a tough slog and to finally get the call-up is such a relief, but you have to keep charging,” he said.

“Now that he has made a final, deep down he will have this great internal confidence.

“Its quite intimidating coming up against guys that you have looked up to, but now he will believe in himself that he can mix it with the best.”

But Wills has warned Melling against getting carried away.

“It’s very important that he consolidates by winning a few heats in Tahiti, but it will be a massive test,’ he said.

“The Teahupoo wave, for a rookie especially, can be very daunting.”

Melling will have just over a month to celebrate his form and prepare to tackle one of the world’s heaviest waves from August 23.

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