Sebastian Zietz's 2015 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) year hadn't been too kind to him. In fact, the bubbly Kaua'i natural-footer hadn't even qualified for the 2016 CT.
Surely, the thought of having to slug it out again on the notoriously difficult Qualifying Series had to be discouraging; guys spend years, if not the better part of a decade trying to crack the Top 10 on it.
Not many spots out from qualification, however, in March, Seabass showed up to the Gold Coast anyway to let the WSL officials know he was available if a window opened. Bede Durbidge and Owen Wright were actually injured, and as the third man out, CT commissioner Kieren Perrow granted Seabass the spot.
While the first two events in Australia at the Gold Coast and Bells weren't particularly successful for Zietz, everything clicked by event No. 3 at the Margaret River Drug Aware Pro, when Seabass mowed through the CT field to win the comp, ending Matt Wilkinson's two-event winning streak in the process.
Although Western Australia's very own Taj Burrow did announce his retirement from the Championship Tour at the same event, the news didn't sour Seabass's first CT win in the least.
The rest of Zietz's year wasn't too shabby either with a 9th and a 5th on the European leg, clearly proving he's a CT-worthy surfer for years to come. And that Mr. Perrow had made the right move back in March.