Mitch needs miracle to qualify for world tour

RIPPING: Mitch Coleborn in round five of the Vans US Open of Surfing.
RIPPING: Mitch Coleborn in round five of the Vans US Open of Surfing. Sean Rowland/WSL

SURFING: Wurtulla's Mitch Coleborn needs a miracle.

It's that simple.

The 29-year-old needs to make the final in the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Hawaii's Sunset Beach to qualify for next season's World Surf League Championship Tour.

The only problem is some of the Championship Tour's best are using the World Cup event as a warm-up for next week's Billabong Pipe Masters.

The Pipe Masters is the final event on the World Surf League calendar, meaning everyone wants to win at Oahu's Banzai Pipeline.

It means Coleborn's path to the top has been littered with major obstacles just as he neared the final hurdle.

The first of those obstacles is world number four-ranked New South Welshman Matt Wilkinson.

Coleborn will line up against Wilkinson, Argentinian Santiago Muniz and Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau in the first heat of the third round when action gets back under way at the World Cup.

Wilkinson started this year in sensational form, winning the Gold Coast Quiksilver Pro and the Rip Curl Bells Beach Pro, before coming second in the Fiji Pro, but has struggled of late, his last three results, 13th, 25th and 49th, leave him ripe to be picked off by Coleborn.

Coast surfing guru and former world number five Robbie Sherwell is keeping a close eye on Coleborn's progress.

He hasn't ruled out Coleborn getting the fairytale finish he needs.

"Anything's possible in Hawaii,” Sherwell said.

He said the pressure would be "really, really intense” at the moment, but if Coleborn's wave selection was good he had the skills to go deep into the draw.

It would be a Herculean effort from Coleborn to qualify and he could be in the water tomorrow morning if conditions are right.

Topics:  mitch coleborn sport sunshine coast surfing world championship tour

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