Buchan’s 18.5 out of a possible 20, relying on left-handers, was not bettered, and he eased into the round of 16 in Newcastle where he faces American Evan Geiselman.
“When you win like that it’s good for your confidence,” Buchan said. “Over the last few days I’ve felt good without positing big scores, so I knew it would come. I spend most of the year going right on the ASP World Tour, so it’s refreshing to go left."
There was more good news for Australia as Taj Burrow won a thrilling heat against Adam Melling and Jay Quinn, while in the women’s competition Sally Fitzgibbons was impressive, scoring 9.10 and an 8.33 (out of a possible 10) to advance to the quarter-finals, where she’ll face Alizee Arnaud of France.
“The surf is about the same size as yesterday,” Fitzgibbons said. “But the waves have less power so it’s pretty tough out there. In those three man heats it’s good to get an early lead and leave the other girls to hassle for 2nd. I think the swell is expected to be a bit bigger tomorrow, so I’m excited for Finals day.”
The action in Newcastle continues until March 18.