Jack Robinson in second spot heading into World Surf League finals at Trestles in California

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Jack Robinson surfing in Heat 3 of the opening round at the Outerknown Tahiti Pro.
Camera IconJack Robinson surfing in Heat 3 of the opening round at the Outerknown Tahiti Pro. Credit: Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League via Getty Imag

Jack Robinson will be flying the flag for Margaret River as he heads into the finals of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour poised at No.2 in the world.

The men’s circuit charger was considered a hot prospect to take out the crescendo of the professional surfing year at California’s Trestles break, with initial heats starting yesterday as the Times went to press.

Robinson has fellow Aussie Ethan Ewing just one spot behind him, but the prospects of a face-off against Felipe Toledo has surf-watchers slathering.

Raising the stakes, Ewing has also said he’ll dedicate the WSL world title to his late mother and the rest of his family if he triumphs.

While Ewing and Robinson carry Australia’s hopes in the men’s world title race, Stephanie Gilmore, who is fifth in the women’s rankings, will be aiming to secure an eighth world title when she competes at the season-ending WSL Finals.

Robinson was widely lauded this year as a “child prodigy” who always seemed destined for greatness.

He won two major events on the calendar this year, including his stunning aerial move to secure the Margaret River Pro in early May.

By contrast, Ewing’s dramatic rise to title contender has taken punters by surprise.

The 24-year-old finished 15th last season and was filled with self-doubts heading into 2022.

But starring on the surf stage was in his genes, with Ewing’s late mother Helen winning at Bells Beach in 1983.

Ewing was just six years old when she died, but she will be firmly in his thoughts when he competes at the WSL Finals at Lower Trestles.

“She’s been a huge inspiration for me with what she did in her surfing career,” Ewing said.

“I remember going to the beach and surfing with her. They are really good memories for sure.”

Headed into the finals, Robinson said he was focused on good surfing and not letting the tension of the world title undermine his footing.

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