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Surfing rookie wins big at Pipeline

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

A rookie blossomed and a veteran's world tour career ended on a mixed day for Australian surfers at Hawaii's Pipe Masters.

With only two days left in the event window, organisers churned through 23 heats on Sunday (Monday AEDT) in the second and third rounds.

Newcastle rookie Ryan Callinan pulled off the day's biggest upset at Banzai Pipeline, eliminating Brazilian world No.2 Gabriel Medina in the third round.

Medina only needed a 6.75 late in their heat to win, but Callinan held on to reach the fourth heat of a world tour event for the first time.

Callinan also beat Brazilian rookie of the year Caio Ibelli in the second round.

"I guess this is a good end to the year already," Callinan said.

"Round three has kind of got me this year and the two guys I beat today have kind of got me in most of the events, so it is good to get a bit of payback in."

Despite his big day, Callinan will have to requalify next year for the world tour.

Compatriot Kai Otton said after he lost to American Kolohe Andino in round three that he would not go through requalifying next year, ending his decade on the world tour.

"It's kind of a forced retirement I guess," Otton said.

"I would have gone again next year if all the boys were there, but I'm not going to chase the QS so it's probably my last event.

It's been a dream - I didn't qualify until I was 27 and 10 years later it's been great fun."

Former world champion Joel Parkinson and Josh Kerr were the other Australians to win through to round four.

After starting the year with three wins from four rounds, Matt Wilkinson lost his round-three heat to Frenchman Jeremy Flores.

Despite dropping out of the title race, Wilkinson said the season had given him confidence that he can be a contender.

"I feel like I've had a lot of missed opportunities in the back half of this year and I could have been fighting for a title," Wilkinson said.

"I obviously would have wanted to do better here, but I am stoked going into the off-season."

Julian Wilson, the 2014 Pipe Master, also fell to American Kanoa Igarashi in the third round.

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater ended the day with a tight win over fellow American Conner Coffin, beating him by just .07.

Newly-crowned world champion John John Florence, a North Shore local, also remains in contention for his first Pipeline Masters title.

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