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Ryan Callinan’s return to competitive surfing in 2021 was cut short in the quarter-finals of the Central Coast Pro as he prepares for next month’s world tour event at home in Newcastle. The Merewether boardrider was knocked out by Reef Heazlewood, who landed back-to-back scores of 8 and 9.5 in their one-on-one battle at Avoca Beach on Saturday. Callinan ended up on 12.1 points, 5.4 behind his opponent in the WSL qualifying series competition. Fellow CT surfer Julian Wilson was eliminated in the round of 32 alongside Merewether’s Jackson Baker. The men’s title was taken out by defending champion Matt Banting (14.1), who narrowly defeated Jacob Willcox (13.1) in Sunday’s decider. “That was an amazing final and I knew I had to fight hard to get ahead of Willcox after he opened so well,” Banting told Surfing NSW media. “The final wave lined up nicely for me and I just had to push hard because I knew I needed a close to excellent score. It’s a fantastic feeling to win here again.” In the women’s section, it was an all Central Coast final with Molly Picklum (14.96) edging out Macy Callaghan (14.74). “I feel great right now, it’s been so exciting surfing against championship tour surfers like Macy [Callaghan] and Sally [Fitzgibbons] and to win in front of my home crowd is just the best,” Picklum told Surfing NSW media. Sarah Baum was beaten by Picklum in the quarters. Merewether’s Philippa Anderson dropped out in the round of 16. IN THE NEWS: Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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