Hunter surfing star Philippa Anderson has fallen just short in her last-gasp bid to qualify for next year’s World Surf League championship tour after tumbling out of the Port Stephens Pro’s quarterfinals over the weekend.
The Merewether hopeful now boasts 11,600 points overall in the WSL’s qualifying series, propped up by the 2,650 points the 27-year-old collected at Birubi Beach, but can’t close the gap to the top eight (14,080) with just one QS event left.
Anderson struggled to edge past qualifying series leader Isabella Nichols in Port Stephens, who went on to claim a first-place finish with a victory over Macy Callaghan in the Birubi Beach final. Nichols earned 6,000 points for the win.
It was rough ending to Anderson’s 12th qualification campaign, especially considering how close she came with her top-eight result. The Merewether star has finished 12th in the QS twice, and 13th three times.
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Despite the pain of falling out of the qualification hunt for another year, Anderson admitted that she “wasn’t too worried” that she’d missed the championship qualification spots for another year.
“I’m just happy that I made a couple of heats in Spain, and I’m happy not to have a totally bad year,” Anderson told the Examiner of her struggles. “I’m not really that fussed… I’ve just had a really bad year besides a fifth and third in the last two events.”
“I guess I’ve never really had a really bad year for a while. I’ve always just been pretty consistent and almost made it, so it was just a bit frustrating – training really hard and having my equipment dialled, but just not making heats.”
Despite the setbacks and struggles, Anderson promised her Hunter fans would see her battling back in the WSL’s qualification series in 2020 “for sure,” and admitted she’d keep surfing professionally for as long as she could.
“I know at least one of my sponsors is going to back me next year,” the Merewether star said of her next steps. “I’m still enjoying it and my body is still keeping it up, so I may as well keep trying … I’m living a pretty amazing life.”