Julian Wilson in action at Margaret River in 2018.
Julian Wilson in action at Margaret River in 2018. WSL / Dunbar

Wilson's leading surfing world title hunt

SURFING: Peregian Beach's Julian Wilson is leading the way on the world tour once again, after a runner-up result at the Uluwatu event, but he's not getting carried away.

The 29-year-old enjoyed a strong run in Bali on Saturday, winning a three-man round four heat, a quarter-final against South African Jordy Smith and a semi-final against American Kolohe Andino.

He was then edged in the final, 15.57 to 14.43, by Brazil's Willian Cardoso.

"I didn't get the result I wanted at Keramas last week, so to be able to switch gears and get a runner-up finish here at Uluwatu feels good,” he said via World Surf League.

It propelled him from third to first on the Championship Tour ratings, after five stops on the circuit. He reclaims the leader's jersey, which he held after the first three events.

But he's not getting caught up in any hype surrounding the No.1 spot, with six competitions still to come remaining.

"I'm not thinking too much about being back on top of the Jeep Leaderboard,” he said.

"It's nice but it's only halfway through the season and there's a lot of heats still to come.”

Wilson, who has been on tour full-time since 2011, is in pursuit of his maiden world crown. His best season-ending standing was third place, last year.

He has 27,215 points and leads a string of Brazilian surfers this season, , including second-placed Filipe Toledo (25,900).

The next event is in South Africa next month.

"It's been a really long day and I'm burnt out right now,” Wilson said.

"I'm excited to get home to my wife and daughter and reset for the Corona J-Bay Open.”

In the women's event, France's Johanne Defay beat Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb 13.13 to 12.67 in the final to move to fifth in the standings. American Lakey Peterson leads the way.

Sunshine Coast's Keely Andrew dropped one spot to 10th on the ratings rankings.

She is in her third full season on the circuit.