Surfer closes in on dream

THE former coach of Maroochydore goofy-footer Mitch Coleborn expects his one-time charge to qualify for next year's elite tour after a form-reversing result in Hawaii.

Coleborn was eliminated in the semi-finals of the four-Star HIC Pro at Sunset Beach yesterday.

He has picked up valuable points heading into his final two events of the year - the Prime-rated Reef Hawaiian Pro at Alii Beach and Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach.

The Reef Hawaiian Pro is due to start on Wednesday morning our time.

The top 10 non-World Championship Tour surfers at the season's end qualify for the main tour next year.

Coleborn, 26, went in the HIC Pro in 10th spot.

He recently told the Daily that he expected to realise his childhood dream of cracking the WCT by "bringing it home" in Hawaii.

His former long-time mentor, Coast-based ex-national coach Ian Portingale, was unsurprised to see him return to form in Hawaii.

"Honestly, he's a powerpack surfer who, as he showed at Cloudbreak in Fiji (he beat 11-time world champion Kelly Slater there in 2012), he's equal to the task," Portingale said.

"If the wave's pushing, he pushes just as much back.

"I would have been more surprised if he got bundled out (early) in such powerful waves (as Sunset)."

Portingale expects Coleborn's confidence to be sky high heading into the Reef Hawaiian Pro. He said a WCT spot should be his.

"He's definitely got waves that suit his style of surfing and his kind of go-for-it approach," he said.

"So I'd be more surprised if he didn't hold those points (than if he did)."

After winning a Prime-rated event in Brazil in May, Coleborn suffered a series of early exits before the HIC Pro.

He admitted that he got complacent after Brazil, thinking it would "happen easy" for the remainder of the season.

Portingale said Coleborn had not been doing a lot wrong and just needed a bit of luck.

"It's not necessarily that he's surfing badly. Those around him have lifted," he said.

"Obviously he's got to get his A-game there and make sure he's on the best waves.

"Honest, I'd be surprised if he lets this drop."

Coleborn finished last in his four-man semi-final heat yesterday.

He scored 8.64 out of a possible 20.

Hawaiian Mason Ho won the heat with a score of 12.33 and than won the final.

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