Wright back in the mix for world tour
FORMER Lennox Head surfer Mikey Wright is aiming to qualify for the world championship tour next year.
He is the younger sibling of Owen and Tyler Wright who are both currently within striking range of world titles on the professional tour.
Mikey, 21, won a stack of junior events as a teenager but has been in and out of competition over the past few years.
He is currently surfing in the Qualifying Series event at the Billabong Pro in Portugal.
Wright sits in 20th position and could sneak a qualifying spot with another one or two good results in the last three QS events of the season.
"I took two years off to free surf and grow up but I was always coming back to surf competitively," Wright said.
"I sort of stopped using the front grip in events, it's fine in free surfs, I actually prefer it, but it does catch a little bit on some small turns and so for heats I had to change it up."
It could be a Far North Coast flavour on the tour next year with Lennox Head surfer Adam Melling aiming to requalify for the world tour from the QS.
Melling has plenty of work ahead of him and currently sits outside the top 30 in rankings.
Stu Kennedy is on the professional and is also surfing in Portugal having made it past the earlier rounds.
There could be six surfers with links to the FNC with Byron Bay resident Matt Wilkinson becoming a regular on the tour along with Owen and Tyler Wright.
Meanwhile, Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh got off to a great start with wins in his first two heats at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Japan.
McDonagh is a member of the Australian Junior Surfing Team which has hopes of going one better than last year's silver medal at the superb break of Okuragahama Beach in Hyuga City on the southern island of Kyushu.
The prestigious event gathers surfing's top 18-and-under surfers to represent their nations and compete for gold.
The 12-strong Australian team includes four female surfers and eight male surfers in under-18 and under-16 divisions.
Mikey is in the under-16 division and is rated as one of the favourites in a very strong field.