Soli's swift exit at Bali Pro
IT was a swift exit for Suffolk Park surfer Soli Bailey when he was beaten in the elimination round of the Bali Pro.
The competition had a seeding round before surfers were placed in the third round or the sudden death elimination round.
Bailey made a promising start to his first year on the professional tour with a pair of third round appearances on the Gold Coast and at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria.
Bali was his first international event of the year and the challenge for him will be to produce consistent performances while competing overseas.
He now has a short turnaround and will come home to prepare for the Margaret River Pro which is scheduled to start on May 29.
Next month he will head to Brazil for the Rio Pro before the J-Bay Open at South Africa in July.
"I've always dreamed of getting the start (on tour). Bells is also a really special place for me,” Bailey told World Surf League media.
"I won an indigenous title there, with my indigenous background, and I also had a few really good junior results out there.
"Then Teahupo'o and J-Bay, the events I'm most looking forward to.
"But the whole year is generally always pumping and it'll be really cool just to get all of those opportunities.”
Bailey is the second indigenous Australian to be a professional surfer and compete full-time on the WSL world tour.
He follows in the footsteps of Wollongong's Robbie Page, a 1985 Pipeline Masters Champion.
He is wearing a unique jersey in competition which features the Australian Aboriginal flag on one sleeve.
Ricardo Christie has followed suit in Bali and now has his Maori heritage on his sleeve along with the New Zealand flag on the other.
"I saw that Soli was representing his indigenous Australian flag and realised that it would be an option for me to do as well,” Christie said.
"I contacted WSL and they were really helpful in getting it organised, but we didn't think it would all be ready to go until the middle of the season, so it was a really special moment when I got here and saw it on my sleeve.”
Brothers and former Lennox Head surfers Mikey and Owen Wright will surf in the third round with competition expected to resume today.