Wilson keeps faint world title hopes alive
SURFING: Julian Wilson kept his slim world title hopes alive with a crunch win at Supertubos on Thursday night but could see them disappear as early as Friday night.
The Coolum Beach product edged Brazilian Alex Ribeiro 8.33 to 6.73 in round two of the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal to earn a berth in round three.
He needs to win the penultimate event of the world Championship Tour and have results go his way - including Hawaii's John John Florence losing his next heat - to keep his world title chances afloat.
Wilson was sixth in the race for the world title leading into the 10th of 11th stops on tour.
The 27-year-old's best season-ending ranking is sixth, recorded last year.
Florence and Gabriel Medina continued to press their claims for the crown with wins in round two at Supertubos but Australian Matt Wilkinson's early exit in Peniche marks the end of an amazing run for a maiden WSL title.
The talented goofy-foot had a dreamy start with back-to-back wins on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach, a runner-up spot in Fiji, before his season was completely turned around with repeated second and third round exits in the previous four events.
"I've had the best year of my career by far and I'm excited to keep it going the next few years and hopefully find myself a World Title in the next few years,” he said.
The remaining round two heats and round three were expected to be contested on Friday night and Saturday morning, conditions permitting, with some possibility surfers could push into even later rounds.