IN ACTION: Julian Wilson won his heat at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii.
IN ACTION: Julian Wilson won his heat at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii. Ed Sloane

Wilson makes promising start in hunt for world title at Pipe

SURFING: Coolum Beach's Julian Wilson has made a promising start to his world title quest at Pipeline in Hawaii.

The 30-year-old won his opening round heat, scoring 8.07 in difficult conditions, to beat Brazil's Tomas Hermes (6.40) and Hawaii's Seth Moniz (4.57).

It afforded him direct passage into round three.

"It feels pretty good to get through a heat that's tricky like that," he told World Surf League.

"It doesn't get much more challenging at Pipe."

Wilson is second in the rankings after 10 of 11 events, trailing Gabriel Medina in the standings.

Another Brazilian, Filipe Toledo, can also win the world title.

"I feel like the three of us that are in contention all need a big result (at Pipeline) to clinch it, so I feel like we're all in the same boat," Wilson said.

There are plenty of people cheering him on.

"The support's been unreal. My family is here and I feel like I'm doing it for Australia in a way, and the support's been incredible from home."

Wilson has experienced a remarkable season, given he suffered a shoulder injury before he won the first event of the season on the Gold Coast in March.

"It (the shoulder) feels all right. I think when it (the swell) gets bigger I might be thinking about it a little bit, but it's all good."



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