Angourie surfer breaks into world's top 200
SURFING: Angourie charger Chris Zaffis has taken to the air to cement his place as one of the top 200 surfers in the world.
Competing in his last event on the World Surfing League Qualifying Series tour, the Taiwan Open of Surfing, Zaffis was up against some tough competition in 4-5ft swells.
Luckily they were conditions that favoured the 19-year-old, and he worked his way through to the quarter finals, where he posted the highest heat total of the event, with an 8.75 and a 9.65.
"I landed a really big air reverse on my highest- scoring wave," he said.
"I was up against a really good competitor who had just dropped a big score.
"I saw a wave with the potential for it and went for it and it was all good.
"It was under priority so it was a roll of the dice, but that was definitely the highlight."
The semi-final was just as exciting, and Zaffis bowed out to Indonesian Oney Anwar, who went on to win the competition.
"We were both doing airs but he just got better waves," he said. "I was stoked for him though."
Zaffis was also stoked with the fact the 850 points he earned in the competition moved him up 40 ranks, allowing him to enter QS 6000 events next year.
It has capped off a huge first year on the WSL Qualifying Series, including his first WSL win at the Mentawai Pro in April, which has seen him go from a ranking of zero to 174th in the world.
"I feel like I've improved a lot considering that at the start of the year I sitting on the beach waiting to get into events," he said. "I've made a lot of progress and learnt so much."
Zaffis added his goal for 2017 was to be eligible for the Vans Triple Crown in Hawaii.
"It means that by October I need to be in the top 100-120 surfers, but you've got to dream big."