- WSL / Tony Heff

As soon as the swell kicks into overdrive the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach is on, and looking to get his sophomore season back on track, Jack Robinson couldn't be more eager. And as the WSL's Rosy Hodge just pointed out, Robinson could be a favorite to win the whole thing.

Robinson secured qualification for his Rookie year on Tour with a dominant win at Sunset during the 2019 Vans World Cup of Surfing, despite facing local hero and two-time winner of the event Ezekiel Lau in the Final.

Throughout his march through the field Robinson seemed to have an ability to conjure perfect waves from a wild lineup. In the Final this saw him secure a 9.40 and 9.67 for a near-perfect two-wave heat total.

Jack Robinson Sunset is a wave which brings out the best in Jack Robinson, who scored a near-perfect two-wave total to win the Final of the 2019 Vans World Cup of Surfing - WSL / Keoki Saguibo

There were many reasons this win made Robinson visibly emotional. He has a strong connection to the powerful waves of the North Shore, which he's prepared for with a childhood spent surfing the heavy, remote slabs of his native Western Australia. But it was also a validation of a lifetime spent in the surf industry spotlight, and a repost to those who may have speculated the child prodigy was at risk of squandering his potential.

With this win, Robinson proved the doubters wrong. As he did last year with his first CT victory, at the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver.

But after a 17th place finish at the Billabong Pro Pipeline after a loss to Joao Chianca, a return to Sunset may be exactly what Robinson is looking for to kick-start his season. That heat at Pipeline was one Robinson could have reasonably been expected to win, but the hard-charging young Brazilian came out and surprised everyone with his prowess at Pipe.

Jack Robinson Despite some mixed results on the Championship Tour, Jack Robinson will be among the favourites for the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach - WSL / Keoki Saguibo

Last year, Robinson had been in danger of failing to requalify, until he buckled down, focused on the task at hand and notched a win in Mexico. Heat strategy and consistency were areas he'd needed to work on, and the loss to Chianca was a reminder of this.

After all, it wasn't for lack of talent. Robinson won his Opening Round heat at Pipe against Kelly Slater and Lucca Mesinas with a 9.17 and a 9.50, another near-perfect two wave total.

Robinson has a genuine connection to Sunset -- a wave many surfers on Tour openly dislike, or at the very least, don't hold in the same regard as some of the more "perfect" waves on the North Shore.

But as noted, Robinson has spent his time out here and feels exceptionally comfortable here, perhaps not unlike his affinity for North Point in Western Australia. They're both heavy, wild right-handers that quickly separate the pack from those who want a piece of the action and those who don't.

Another solid performance at Sunset -- this time a Championship Tour venue -- is exactly what Robinson needs to energize his season, and to remind fans he's one of the most naturally-talented, in-tune with the ocean surfers to have graced the Tour. And for Robinson, the bigger it is the better.

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