Hometown hero Morgan Cibilic’s head is still in the clouds.
The Merewether youngster stunned onlookers at the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona, the second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2021 Championship Tour (CT), when he eliminated No. 1 John John Florence in the round of 32 today (Thursday 8 April).
In clean, two-to-four-foot waves, the CT rookie taught the two-time WSL champion a lesson or two.
Following a foot injury earlier in the week, it was thought that Cibilic might withdraw from the event as he was unable to walk.
But, to everyone’s surprise, he fought through the pain of his toe fracture to score an excellent 17.13 two-wave total (out of a possible 20) to Florence’s 13.16 combined tally.
The 21-year-old will now advance to the round of 16, where he will face compatriot Wade Carmichael.
“I feel like I just won the event,” Cibilic said.
“I’m so glad it didn’t run for a few days because I haven’t been able to surf for almost four days.
“If we ran yesterday, I don’t think I would have been able to compete.
“I still had so much bruising around my foot.
“It’s really settled down overnight, so I was glad to get out there this morning.
“I’ve surfed events with burst eardrums, knee injuries and now a fractured toe, it seems to work for me and keeps me composed.
“I’m so excited to win.”
Reigning WSL champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) had his work cut out as he came up against Merewether Surfboard Club’s wildcard Jackson Baker.
He narrowly defeated the local favourite by a mere 1.60-points with the exciting goofy-foot extending his lead on his final ride.
Another Novocastrian hope, Ryan Callinan, knocked out American Crosby Colapinto 11.40 to 11.06.
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s round of 32 results:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.16 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.60
- HEAT 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.10 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.20
- HEAT 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.93 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 7.40
- HEAT 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.67 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 4.00
- HEAT 5: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 17.13 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
- HEAT 6: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.17 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.67
- HEAT 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.40 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 11.06
- HEAT 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.60 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.00
- HEAT 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.80 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.20
- HEAT 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.43 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.50
- HEAT 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.83 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 8.50
- HEAT 12: Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.74
- HEAT 13: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50 DEF. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 10.40
- HEAT 14: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.84 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.37
- HEAT 15: Yago Dora (BRA) 12.84 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.83
- HEAT 16: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.56
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s round of 16 match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
- HEAT 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
- HEAT 3: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
- HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
- HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
- HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
- HEAT 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
- HEAT 8: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s quarter-finals match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
- HEAT 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
- HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
- HEAT 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)