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Doing it tough

Gisborne-Mahia surfer Ricardo Christie competes (above) in the seeding heats of the MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro at Supertubos, Peniche.

Christie placed third in his heat to drop into the elimination round of the penultimate contest on the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour. In fickle conditions, Christie could manage only 5.50 (2.77, 2.73) out of a possible 20 for his two best waves, but not for lack of trying. He caught 11 waves, the most of the surfers in his heat.

The heat was won by Brazilian Willian Cardoso on 10.60 (3.93, 6.67), with Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi second on 8.83 (4.50, 4.33).

Those two surfers advanced to the round of 32. Christie faces the tougher route of a knockout heat against Australian Owen Wright and Portugal’s Miguel Blanco. The top two survive. The third-placed surfer is out.

Picture by Laurent Masurel/WSL via Getty Images