New Zealand has never had a male and female surfer compete on the World Surf League Championship Tour at the same time.

In 2019, that looks set to change.

After Paige Hareb confirmed her return to next year's Championship Tour (CT) last week, Mahia's Ricardo Christie looks set to follow after surfing to the best result of his career.

Christie, 30, finished third at the Hawaiian Pro at Haliewa Beach improving his season qualifying series points haul from 11,700 to 17,700, to lift him well inside the top 10 on the qualifying series (QS).


Australian stalwart Joel Parkinson, who is retiring from the sport after the 2018 season, took out the title in an incredibly high-scoring final, in which all four surfers scored above 15 points for their two counting rides.

Young Brazilian Mateus Herdy, who was arguably the best performer throughout finals day, finished second.

In making the final, 17-year-old Herdy jumped 49 places in the rankings and is now in contention to qualify for next year's CT as well.

Fellow Brazilian Deivid Silva finished fourth.

The result lifts Christie to No 7 in the QS standings, moving seven spots up the leaderboard.

With the top 10 on the QS at the end of the year being guaranteed promotion to the CT, Christie is well positioned with just one major event to go - the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, next week.

Moving inside the top 10 on the series, Christie will likely get a free pass through the opening two rounds at Sunset Beach.

Christie qualified for the CT on the 2014 QS with the final qualification spot.

While it saw him achieve the dream of surfing with the world's best, the low seeding saw him given the toughest match ups on the CT in 2015, and he was unable to hold his spot.

A higher seeding this time around would help his cause at the next level.

With his qualification to the CT likely, Christie will have the opportunity to compete for one of 10 Olympic qualification spots on next year's tour.

Men's qualifying series standings after the Hawaiian Pro:
1. Kanoa Igarashi (Japan) - 26,800 points
2. Seth Moniz (Hawaii) - 22,200
3. Ryan Callinan (Australia) - 20,460
4. Deivid Silva (Brazil) - 19,860
5. Peterson Crisanto (Brazil) - 19,350
6. Griffin Colapinto (USA) - 19,050
7. Ricardo Christie (New Zealand) - 17,700
8. Leonardo Fioravanti (Italy) - 16,600
9. Jadson Andre (Brazil) - 14,160
10. Ethan Ewing (Australia) - 14,030