Beware the rookie on tour

Soli Bailey has a lot left to offer in the WSL World Tour this year, despite a less than perfect start to the season. Photo provided by Soli Bailey.

The World Surf League is four events down and Soli Bailey is yet to find form in his first year on tour.

He has won only one heat and sits 33rd going into the Oi Rio Pro starting June 20th.

Despite the tough start, Bailey remains positive about his experience so far, coming out of a ‘day to remember’ at the Margaret River Pro in WA.

“It wasn’t the performance I’d like to have put on out there but I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity. I have learnt so much on my journey so far and I’m keen to implement it in the coming events,” Bailey said.

If he seems relaxed, it’s probably because the 24-year-old really doesn’t have much to worry about. He’s been here before; he qualified for the tour under similar circumstances last year.

Sitting well outside the top eight in 17th, Bailey needed to win in Hawaii.

A semi-final was the best result I’d had all year,” he said.

He held his composure and won the event.

He almost did the same thing at the Margaret River Pro that just wrapped up. In huge conditions at the famous right-hand slab known as ‘The Box’ he found himself against Italo Ferreira.

The more experienced campaigner scored an 8.17 with a critical drop on his first wave, shifting the pressure to the rookie. Several times Bailey found himself in the barrel, but he couldn’t find an exit.

Had he nailed any one of his rides, he may well have launched into the top 20 on the tour heading into the fifth event.

The WSL is a long season but shifts in perspective can happen in a moment. Bailey isn’t nervous or rattled as yet, and knows his season could be on the cusp of a turnaround.

Beware the rookie.

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