Stab Magazine | Rookie Connor O’Leary Leads Backside Blitz At Snapper

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Rookie Connor O’Leary Leads Backside Blitz At Snapper

“I’ve spent my whole life going right.”

news // Mar 18, 2017
Words by Jed Smith
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Australian rookie Connor O’Leary led a goofyfoot blitz on the Quiksilver Pro in round four and five, with five of the remaining eight surfers in the event all right foot forward. In conditions that varied from clean and rippable to junky and rippable, the backsiders were favoured by their ability to wind up in a small space, hit with venom, and stay on rail. 

Connor OLeary WSL Sloane

Connor’s favourable side on display. (Image: WSL/Ed Sloane)

“I’ve spent my whole life going right,” said O’Leary. “I feel like in events for some reason you go more right than you do left. I’ve had that practice and I’ve had great technique coaching from Martin Dunn. He’s kind of shaped my technique my whole life.”

Brazilian Italo Ferreira was another standout with the windblown Snapper conditions bearing an uncanny resemblance to his home break of Baia Formosa. Lightning reflexes and a rock solid base formed the foundation of an explosive, malleable backside attack though he was forced to weather a late scare from American Kolohe Andino to progress to the quarters. 

Italo WSL Sloane

Italo Ferreira’s continues on a strong trajectory. (Image: WSL/Ed Sloane)

“I think the conditions are good for the goofy. You (only) need a little space in the wave and you can do some big manoeuvres in a small space,” he said, adding: “It’s tricky conditions. It’s so hard to trust that little moment, the best moment of the wave.”

Owen Wright continued his remarkable return to the Tour with a round five win over American Conner Coffin. It was all measured flow, precision hits and gouges in the pocket, and supreme wave selection that did the job for the rangy Australian. He was pushed right up to the siren by Coffin who racked up an 8.50 in the dying stages with an ultra-stylish array of frontside hacks, carves and floats. 

Wilko WSL Sloane

The Snapper Rocks title defender, Matt Wilkinson joins the goofy contingent moving through to the quarter finals. (Image: WSL/Ed Sloane)

“Everything is good, energy is good. I’m starting to find my groove a bit more. I felt like that was a bit more myself out there, finishing waves and looking for sections and just trying as hard as I could,” said Owen after the heat. 

“If I even finished ninth just then this is my best start since 2011. I’m way back into it, I took a lot from that heat,” he said. 

He joins fellow goofy foots Matt Wilkinson and Gabriel Medina on finals day tomorrow.

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