Wright combination makes history
OWEN and Tyler Wright will make history today when they become the first brother/sister combination to surf in an ASP World Tour event together.
Fifteen-year-old Tyler grabbed the last spot in the women’s draw when she took out the Trials yesterday, beating Australia’s other rising star Laura Enever.
Big brother Owen is a tour rookie and will compete in his first tour event.
In the final of the women’s race for a wildcard, Tyler beat out Dimity Stoyle, Sarah Mason and Merewether surfer Phillipa Anderson.
Ironically, Anderson’s brother Craig will surf in the men’s draw, meaning Tyler thwarted their chance to become the first brother/sister combination.
Wright, who made history as the youngest ever winner of an ASP event at 14, was unaware of the feat until she hit the sand after the final.
“Someone told me straight after the final – I’m so happy with it. It’s going to be sick,” she said.
“I can’t wait to see Owen surf. He is going so well, so it’s going to be an inspiration to me.”
Tyler Wright’s admission to the women’s draw strengthens what was already the strongest hand the Far North Coast has had in a professional event.
On top of the Wrights, Byron Bay’s home-grown veteran Kieren Perrow, Lennox rookie Adam Melling and wildcard entrant Garrett Parkes of Byron will surf in the contest.
Never before has the Far North Coast had such strong representation and with young guns Melling, Wright and Parkes all in form, Perrow’s mantle as our No 1 could come under fire.
A late inclusion, Parkes, who will surf in his first WCT event, has landed in a tough heat and will face world champion Mick Fanning in the opening round.
But the kid is hardly daunted by the task.
“I have nothing to lose,” he said.
“My boards are great and I’m feeling good. I am comfortable on a right-hand point break, so I will just head out there and give it my best.
“If I could make it through the opening round I would be more than stoked.”
The 2007 ISA world junior champion warmed up for the event by surfing his way through to the round of 16 at the Couran Cove pro junior last month but is sure to be spurred on by his chance to take on the big boys.
Meanwhile, Owen Wright warmed up for his tour debut with a third place behind Taj Burrow at the Burleigh Breaka Pro where he unleashed a series of his trademark aerials, and while Melling was outed in the round of 32, he is in peak fitness to make his mark.
Melling (ranked 33) and Wright (34) have landed in the final two heats of the draw.
Melling will face Aussie Dean Morrison and rising Brazilian star Jadson Andre in the opening heat, while Wright takes on Hawaiian veteran Fredrick Patacchia and fellow rookie Patrick Gudauskas of the United States.
World No 14 Perrow is the top seed in his heat and will attempt to surf his way past Aussie young guns Daniel Ross and Luke Munro to make a winning start to his sixth year on the tour.
Conditions at Snapper Rocks point to the event starting tomorrow with a clean 2- to 3-foot swell giving the world’s best a licence to ride.