Welcome home . . . Shaun Cansdell is greeted by partner Heidi and daughter Paris at the Coffs Harbour airport yesterday afterno
Welcome home . . . Shaun Cansdell is greeted by partner Heidi and daughter Paris at the Coffs Harbour airport yesterday afterno

Fiji result has Shaun fired up

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

MULLAWAY surfer Shaun Cansdell is riding a wave of joy after his runner-up finish on Tuesday in the Globe WCT Fiji surfing contest.

Arriving in Coffs Harbour late yesterday afternoon, Cansdell has returned from his best result so far in his maiden year on the Fosters Men's ASP World Tour and he's admitted that he's still over the moon about his achievement.

"You could say I'm still on a high from it, I had a big night last night," he said with a smile from the arrivals lounge of the airport.

"It's just so good to get a good result on the tour, it makes me think that anything is possible now and I've just got to put my mind to it to do well."

Surfing at the lefthand reef of Cloudbreak, which is five kilometres off Tavarua Island, Cansdell swept all before him until he was made to pay the price for a poor judgement call in the final which was held in inconsistent 1.5m waves.

Meeting Damien Hobgood, the American goofy-footer led from the outset of the final and an error in wave choice by Cansdell 10 minutes in allowed Hobgood the better wave of a rare set and he nailed a 9.17 point ride for a brief barrel and three ripping turns.

Cansdell never recovered and couldn't find the 8.58 point winning ride required.

"He was surfing amazing and his wave selection was unreal in the final," the 23-year-old said.

"I was being a little bit too selective maybe and let a few waves go that I probably should of went on.

"I was kind of a bit disappointed that I didn't surf the best I could in the heat but I was just happy to get to the final, I was stoked with where I got to."

Earlier in the event, Cansdell had beaten Australia's top rated surfer Taj Burrow in the quarter-final and then eliminated former world champion CJ Hobgood in an enthralling semi-final.

The goofy-footer was the only Australian to shine of the 11 who started on day four.

"They were rapt for me, all the Aussies were staying on the island that I was staying on," he said.

"We had a good night last night and partied."

The points gained from the runner-up finish has placed Cansdell in eighth position on the current ratings table on 2399 points. Seven-times world champion Kelly Slater missed the Fiji event with a rib injury yet still holds a slender ratings lead on 3,501 points from rookie Bobby Martinez (3408). Taj Burrow remains the highest-rated Australian in fifth on 2774 points ahead of the next stop on the World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Search in Mexico from June 20.



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