‘Clapping so hard my hands got sore’: Australian surfer scores perfect 10 in WSL

Australia’s Callum Robson held his nerve to produce the first perfect 10-point ride of the World Surf League championship season in the nick of time.

Robson, 22, was facing an early exit from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, needing a big score in the dying minutes of his elimination round heat against Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Frenchman Maxime Huscenot at Supertubos Beach on Sunday.

Callum Robson scores a perfect 10-point ride in the WSL in Portugal.Credit:WSL

When a huge wave appeared, he launched into a deep drop, barely making the bottom turn then disappearing from view before rocketing out of the tube and drawing a 10 from the judges to advance.

“It feels really good, especially in a moment where I needed it the most,” Robson said. “I was so happy, I was clapping so hard that my hands got sore.”

The men’s elimination round competition in Peniche was put on hold while organisers waited for the massive swell to ease down and the tide to turn.

Later in the day, Robson also advanced through his round of 32 match with compatriot Liam O’Brien, while a number of big names bowed out.

Callum Robson.Credit:World Surf League

Former world champions Kelly Slater and John John Florence were eliminated as was world No.2 Brazil’s Felipe Toledo and No.4 Italian Leonardo Fioravanti.

Two round of 32 heats are still to be completed, but five Australians including Robson and rankings leader Jack Robinson are through to the round of 16.

Robinson next takes on compatriot Ryan Callinan, while Robson faces Frenchman Joan Duru.

There are two all-Australian showdowns in the women’s event, which is also at the round of 16 stage.

Veterans Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons square off as do young guns Isabella Nichols and Molly Picklum, who leads the rankings alongside Hawaiian Carissa Moore.

Macy Callaghan and Sophie McCulloch also remain in contention.


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