PHILLIP Island surfer Glyndyn Ringrose didn’t make it past the second round of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach but the 44-year-old cancer survivor still feels like a winner.
Competing in his first world championship tour event in 17 years, Ringrose claimed a wildcard for the event with an upset win at last week’s Visit Victoria trials.
His tournament came to an end with a one-sided 18.40 to 8.83 loss to South Africa’s Jordy Smith in Sunday’s round two heat, but hometown hero Ringrose was all smiles as he was chaired off the beach by friends.
“Here I am at 44, and the cancer thing definitely did spur me on, it’s such an honour and a great opportunity to be here,” Ringrose said.
“I encourage anyone if you do have any issues, don’t be ashamed. Go ahead and get tested and go see doctors, because life’s just so much more worth living than giving up and letting go.” Ringrose, who was on the pro tour in 1999 and 2000, was shocked when he heard the initial diagnosis.
He received strong support from family and friends and has a renewed perspective on life since undergoing successful surgery.
“Luckily with your testicles when they operate and take it out, it’s usually contained within it, so now all I have to do is regular surveillance and blood tests,” he said.
“That really made me think that life is more than this, and that spurred me on to really try hard and give it a good go.” Smith, the 2016 WSL runner-up, was all business, posting scores of 9.50 and 8.90.
“The conditions are incredible, clean and really consistent. Four to five foot barrels, a perfect light offshore is making it really nice and smooth,” the South African said.
Australia’s 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson remains in the hunt for a fourth Bells title after accounting for Brazil’s Samuel Pupo 16.57 to 12.83 in round two.
Parkinson boasts the tournament’s all-time highest winning percentage (77.6) in heats.
“I guess I’m suited to the wave, but I’ve got a strategy and I haven’t really changed it since the day I first turned up and surfed it,” he said. Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz progressed to round three after beating Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti 16.93 to 16.84.
Also advancing to round three was Hawaii’s Ezekiel Lau, who knocked out American Connor Coffin 18.40 to 16.40.
Seven Australians feature in Sunday’s remaining round two heats, including three-time world champion Mick Fanning taking on compatriot Ethan Ewing.
Originally published as Cancer survivor, 44, steals show at Bells
SOURCE: newsnow sport