Ricardo Christie, Paige Hareb look to continue qualification charge in Spain

Ricardo Christie has been in good form recently and will look to continue it in Spain.

Ricardo Christie has been in good form recently and will look to continue it in Spain.

The hunt for qualifying positions is well and truly on in the World Surf League qualifying series.

With just a handful of big events to go in the series (QS), Kiwis Paige Hareb and Ricardo Christie will look to improve their positions this week at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in Spain.

The competition, which begins on Monday night (NZ time), has 6000 points in both the men's and women's events on offer for the winners.

Paige Hareb continues her qualification bid this week in Spain.

Paige Hareb continues her qualification bid this week in Spain.

And with Hareb and Christie both in reach of qualification for next year's Championship Tour (CT), a high finish will do them wonders. 

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Hareb, of Taranaki, will open her event in round two with the memories of a third-placed finish last year. 

The 27-year-old is currently ninth on the women's QS ladder, with the top six guaranteed a place on next year's CT. 

For Hareb to improve her position, she will need to reach round four at least, but she has been in good form all year, only failing to reach the fourth round twice - in two minor competitions. 

A counting result in the competition could see her rise on the ladder to anywhere from eighth to first, and with only six of the current 17 CT surfers competing, it will be a case of beating the other QS surfers in the early stages. 

Fellow Kiwi Ella Williams, of Whangamata, will also look to do some damage at the event. After claiming her second QS event win earlier this month, she'll start from round one in Spain with momentum on her side. 

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In the men's event, Hawke's Bay's Ricardo Christie looks to back up his quarterfinal finish at the Vans US Open and improve from 11th in the standings.

To guarantee qualification for the men's CT, surfers have to finish in the top 10 on the QS. However, Christie is more than likely to improve on his points total, with two throw-away scores counting for him at the moment.

A thrid-round finish would see his situation improve, however he'll be looking for a better finish than that given he enters the competition in the second round. 

Raglan surfer Billy Stairmand will also look to begin to put some big results together to climb up the leaderboard when he begins the competition in round one. 

Stairmand will need a massive result in Spain if he's to get in position to chase a CT spot, currently sitting outside the top 130 on the QS - failing to post any quality results to this point in the year. 

If the event is called on, round one will likely run on Monday night, with round two likely to be on Tuesday night (NZ time).

 - Stuff

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