Julian Wilson.
Julian Wilson. ©ASP/ Robertson

Wilson buoyed by result

JULIAN Wilson says he is ready to unleash his best on the ASP World Championship Tour.

The Coolum Beach talent showed what he was capable of at the last stop of the tour in South Africa last weekend, making it through to the quarter-finals.

It was his best result in a WCT event and came after two outstanding results in World Qualifying Series contests in Portugal and South Africa.

Wilson, 22, took out the ASP Prime 6-star Quiksilver Pro Portugal before backing it up with a semi-finals appearance at the Mr Price Pro Ballito.

He was in vintage form at Jeffrey’s Bay last weekend, scoring a perfect 10-point ride during the early rounds before bowing out in a tight quarter-final against Adrian Buchan.

Wilson is guaranteed a spot on the WCT for the back half of the year – after the competition is re-seeded – thanks to his current world ranking (13th) and says the stress and pressure have fallen away now that he has made the cut, giving him the confidence to surf naturally.

“To not have to worry about the halfway cut-s-off has made me feel like I can go out and do anything,” he told the Daily yesterday.

“I’m not stressed out. The guys who are on the bubble (cusp of the top 32) are all stressed out now.

“You only have half a year to try and stay on tour and it’s not easy.

“It’s hard to get your head around being there and you’re always trying to over-surf to prove you earned your spot.

“I definitely feel like I’m in a good spot now.”

Wilson, whose eye-catching aerial displays are among the best in the world, is a regarded as a progressive surfer.

However, it was his back-to-basics approach that proved fruitful in South Africa, as he tucked into an epic tube to land a 10-point wave during his battle with against seasoned Australian Kieren Perrow.

“IT was so cool to get my first (WCT) 10-point wave and to do it at J-Bay was one of the coolest things that’s ever happened for me,” Wilson said.

“I was surfing against Kieren and he’s always the guy that sits out there and picks the best waves. That’s why he’s still on tour – he surfs smart heats.

“I wanted to go and do what he does and it worked out. I ended up finding that wave.”

Wilson’s main goal for his rookie world tour year was to make the mid-season cut.

Now he has achieved that, Wilson is hoping to finish the year inside the top 15 of the rankings for the world tour. He is currently ranked 20th.

“I really just want to be in the top 15 on the world tour by the end of the year and just be in a good spot so that come next year, I will be able to have a proper go at it,” he said.

“I figured at the start (of the year) if I can be in the top half come the end of the year, I’ll be satisfied.”

Wilson is spending a couple of days on the Sunshine Coast before heading to California for the Nike US Open of Surfing – a Prime event.

The next world tour contest is the Billabong Pro Teahupoo in Tahiti. Another six events will follow that, culminating in the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii.

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