Richards makes splash
COOLANGATTA indigenous surfer Dale Richards scored a stunning come-from-behind win to seal his place in the Quiksilver Pro after taking out the Quiksilver Pro Trials yesterday.
Richards came through a star-studded event to qualify for the finals where he defeated the current world junior champion, South African Jordy Smith.
The win was even more memorable for Richards who was trailing in fourth place with only three minutes to go before he produced a big 7.3-point ride for the victory.
It is believed Richards is the first Aborigine to qualify for a WCT event since 1992, when the World Qualifying Series became the feeder system for the main tour.
"It's all a bit too much for me right now ? I guess it really hasn't set in yet," Richards said yesterday.
"I couldn't hear the scores or anything out there, just my mates hooting every time I took off. I'm really stoked. I'm frothing so hard to be in the main event right now, I don't even care who I draw."
Richards will have to call on all his local knowledge for his round one heat of the main event against three-time world champion, Hawaiian Andy Irons and South African Greg Emslie.
In the Roxy Pro trials, the diminutive Carissa Moore, 14, from Hawaii showed plenty of promise in the punchy Snapper waves to clinch a wildcard berth in the Roxy Pro.
Cabarita hopeful Ashleigh Smith found her introduction to the Roxy Pro trials tough going, bowing out in the first round.
Moore edged out Tugun's Arini Mason in the final.
The Hawaiian youngster will face off against reigning seven-time world champ Layne Beachley today.