This is being a year marked by many farewells on the world circuit.
Rocked by a convincing win in one of the best heats of the opening round of the Corona Open Mexico, the seventh and penultimate stage of the CT 2021 regular phase, Mikey Wright took the opportunity to announce his departure from the Tour after this stage. The talented Australian surfer, aged 24, justified his decision with the fact that he wanted to devote himself exclusively to free surfing again.
Wright, who has competed in CT as a substitute due to many existing injuries, started the Mexican stage triumphantly, in a heat in which he scored 12.73 points and left his brother Owen Wright in second place, with Brazilian and top seed Yago Dora being thrown for the recap. It was then during the flash interview after the heat that Mikey decided to announce his intention to hang the lycra.
“It’s great to be here, competing in an iconic wave like Barra de la Cruz, but in reality this will be my last event on the Tour, because I want to get back to free surfing”, began by saying Mikey, the youngest of the Wright clan, which in the world elite also has the two-time world champion Tyler. “I want to go back to chasing the best swells and making videos. It was a quick but fun passage through the competition. I’m looking forward to next year”, he stressed.
Mikey Wright’s CT career began almost by “accident”, as the Australian never qualified via the QS circuit. In 2018 he received a wildcard for the first stage of the year, on the Gold Coast, but it was customary in previous years. Only this time he shone brightly, finishing in 9th place, after eliminating John John Florence and Gabriel Medina.
After this highlight in which the biggest names in world surfing came to life, the WSL did not miss the opportunity and granted a new invitation for the following stages. Mikey took advantage, despite the criticism that the situation deserved, and he ended the season in the top 22 in the world, in 12th place, by invitation after invitation, guaranteeing a full-time entry into the 2019 CT, after having been 3rd in the Bali stage and also in Uluwatu.
The following year he made his debut as a full-time surfer on the world circuit, but an injury meant that he only competed in the first three stages of the year. But as the injury cases were many, the Australian was forced to compete with the Italian Leo Fioravanti in a surf off for one of the injury waves at the CT 2021. The duel took place in Pipeline, before the first stage of the year. Mikey won the first best-of-three match, but Fioravanti ended up making the comeback and taking the spot.
But injuries continued to be plentiful among the world’s elite and Wright again benefited from wildcards to go on to the next stages. So far he has not missed any stage, but the best result he has achieved was a 9th place at Rottnest Island, in Western Australia. Currently in 33rd place in the ranking and far from being requalified, Mikey thus announced the farewell to his competitive life.
This is being a year marked by many farewells on the world circuit, which will leave a great generational void. Although Mikey Wright’s case is different, since he is a new surfer and will just change his lifestyle, remaining a professional but free surfer. Something that is still economically profitable in a country like Australia.
He is also joined by Brazilian Adriano de Souza and Australian Ace Buchan, who had already announced at the beginning of the season that this would be the farewell year, and also Frenchman Jeremy Flores and Australian Julian Wilson, who announced more recently the goodbye to competitions. Conversely, veteran Kelly Slater looks stone and lime on Tour, preparing to turn 50 springs next year.