Surfing the wave of support
ONE of Byron Bay's favourite sons and Byron Bay Boardriders star surfers, Soli Bailey, had a massive 2018.
The Suffolk Park surfer has qualified for the World Championship Tour for the first time and will be a full-time competitor next year.
He secured a spot off the back of a semi-final finish at the Vans World Cup in Hawaii.
It all came down to the Hawaiian event with Bailey scraping through after reaching the semi-finals of the Vans World Cup.
It was his best result of the season after a handful of events where he just missed out on quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old first competed on the World Qualifying Series in 2011 and is one of 10 surfers progressing to the main tour next year.
He grew up on the Far North Coast and still surfs for the Byron Bay Boardriders Club.
Bailey started the year representing Byron Bay in the Australian Boardriders Battle before his qualification for the World Championship Tour.
Bailey follows in the footsteps of Lennox Head surfers Stu Kennedy and Adam Melling, who have both surfed on tour full-time.
His home club hosted a huge gathering of supporters last month at the Park Hotel in Suffolk Park to welcome Bailey home and congratulate him personally on his achievement and most importantly, wish him well for a successful 2019 campaign.