Ryan Callinan defeated World No. 1 Filipe Toledo with a radical display of high pressure, high performance surfing in their Round 3 heat of the Quik Pro France today. Callinan's efforts not only put a severe dent in the World Title aspirations of the Brazilian, it also served further notice that the Australian goofyfooter belongs in the big time.
"I feel that was one of the best heats of my life for both performance and pressure," Callinan said. "Filipe is a big name and obviously on a tear this year as he is leading the ratings. So to be able to get the scores and, more importantly, big scores feels amazing."
At one stage though it all looked very different. When Toledo logged a 9.0 ride with just 12 minutes of the heat remaining, the injury replacement was left in a combination situation. With two incredible lefthanders in the space of three minutes Callinan turned the heat and potentially the World Title race.
"That last wave was beautiful, but I knew I needed to push so hard," Callinan explained. "I wanted to keep the flow, but I knew I had to perform big maneuvers on the big sections and that's what I did." His heat total of 16.80 was the best of the day. Remarkably, Toledo's tally of 16.60 was the next best.
The upset win today comes on the back of his victory in the QS 10,000 EDP Billabong Pro, a result that secured his CT place for 2019. That win in Ericeira and this performance in the Quik Pro France means that his time in Europe could well be life changing.
"The last two weeks have been outstanding, it's almost been dream like, but this is reality," he said. "Hopefully long may it continue both through this event and into next year on the CT. I feel like I belong now. It's a pretty good feeling."
Watch the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro live daily on Worldsurfleague.com, App and Facebook Oct 03-14.