Hing to take on the big boys at Manly
WURTULLA'S Kai Hing is not expecting any favours from an old family friend, Julian Wilson, when they hit the water at Manly for next month's Hurley Australian Open of Surfing.
The 16-year-old has been given a wildcard into the event from his major sponsor, grooming the grommet for future competitions.
Besides facing world No.6 Wilson, Hing will compete against world championship surfers John John Florence, Adriano de Souza and Kai Otton.
It will be Hing's first qualifying series event and he is its youngest competitor.
His first open event was the Burleigh Breaka Pro - which was contested by current world champion Mick Fanning - in February last year as a 15-year-old.
Hing showed a lot of class at Burleigh to get through the first two rounds before being bundled out in round three.
That experience served him well earlier this month in the Piping Hot Festival of Surfing, where he finished third to former top-10 world tour surfer Nathan Hedge.
"They have got everything to lose by losing to a teenager," Hing said.
"To get a third place a couple of weeks ago was one of the best comps I have surfed in.
"Just to be in the top four guys with Nathan Hedge and guys like that, it put things in perspective and if I can make a couple of heats in a qualifying series, then I can have a go at it."
In spite of his family ties with the Wilsons, Hing said he expected to be treated the same as any other competitor by Julian.
"I know Julian really well and they are good family friends, but to him I'm just another guy he has to beat in that heat," he said.
"He'll be focusing on winning, but if I get through, I might ask for a few tips."
Hing will also be competing in the Hurley Pro Junior, which runs alongside the main event.
"It's good to know that I have that to fall back on," he said.
Hing will compete in a quarter-final of the Carve Pro Junior at Maroubra today.