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Ryan Callinan in action last year for the Merewether Surfboard Club Ryan Callinan in action last year for the Merewether Surfboard Club

RYAN CALLINAN MAKES HIS COMEBACK TO COMPETITION-SURFING IN THE JIM BEAM SURFTAG

03.01.2013

The long-awaited return of the Jim Beam Surftag Series begins Saturday, January 5, with the NSW North Qualifier at Merewether Beach, NSW

MEREWETHER local Ryan Callinan has had an injury-plagued competitive career but the NSW North Qualifier for the 2013 Jim Beam Surftag Series will see the talented goofy-footer return to competition.

After a horrific grade-three tear to his left ankle, Callinan was forced onto the sideline for 12 weeks, only to then return and injure his knee with damage to his medial ligament.

But Callinan said he is now fit and ready and there’ll be no holding back once that rash-vest is pulled on for the Jim Beam Surftag and the World Qualifying Series this year.

“When I got injured I was pretty young still and I thought I was invincible,” he said. “I had no fear and it hit me pretty hard how one little thing can really set you back.”

“But it put everything into perspective. I’m 100 per cent back for competition now and about 90 per cent when I’m free-surfing.”

Callinan is part of an a-class team with Craig Anderson, Jesse Adam, Paul Parkes, Mitchell Ross and Jackson Brent hoping to defend their title as the best boardriders club in NSW North this Saturday, January 5 at Merewether Beach.

And the event being held at their home-break is going to give them a real advantage said Callinan.

“With the comp at Merewether, we’ve got a lot of local knowledge between us,” he said. “There’s a tricky right-hander that could be breaking so we’ve got some great specialists in our team.”

“I really like the surftag’s team environment. Surfing is so individual whereas this is something to be shared by everyone. We all get really excited and amped up. You can get a couple of good waves and you are a hero. It’s really cool.”

But it’s not going to be all smooth sailing for the Merewether boys with 16 teams from the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Mid North Coast lined-up to battle for the six qualifying spots at the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Championships. Strong competition is expected from Avoca, North Shelly, Port Macquarie, Catherine Hill Bay and Umina.

2013 is going to be the biggest year of Jim Beam Surftag in its 12-year history with 32 teams competing at the Australian Championships– increased from 24 – and over $100,000 in prize money up for grabs. The winning club will receive $15,000, plus five spots on a Maldives 7 day boat trip valued at $8500. LeBa (Lennox Head and Ballina) are the defending Australian Champions but a back-to-back victory will be hard fought with over 100 teams expected to vie for the top-spot including North Narrabeen who have won a record four titles.

BOSCH, Sanuk, Perfect Wave Travel, Tracks and Coastalwatch proudly support the Jim Beam Surftag Australian Series.

For results, photos and videos during the event go to www.facebook.com/surftag