Sport

Wilson shines on opening day of world tour event

HEAT WINNER: Julian Wilson in round one of the Oi Rio Pro at Saquarema at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
HEAT WINNER: Julian Wilson in round one of the Oi Rio Pro at Saquarema at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Damien Poullenot

SURFING: He may be down on the world rankings this season but Sunshine Coast's Julian Wilson showed why he's regarded as one of the globe's best board riders with a superb showing in Brazil on Wednesday morning.

The 28-year-old captured the highest score on the opening day of the Oi Rio Pro, the fourth event of the 11-stop Championship Tour.

He notched 16.34 points to win his three-man heat, ahead of compatriot Stuart Kennedy (12.86), and earned a spot in round three.

One of his rides was an impressive 9.77 display.

"It's tricky conditions out there. You've kind of just got to go with it and that was a good wave and I was able to put an exclamation point on it,” he said.

Wilson went into the event in 16th place on the 34-man rankings, after battling on the Australian leg of the circuit.

But if his early showing at Saquarema is anything to go by, it appears he's close to recapturing the sort of form which has seen him win two tour events in previous years, including the coveted Pipe Masters title.

On tour for the past seven years, he's been touted a world champion contender by experts with a best season-ending finish of sixth place.

Wilson went to Rio de Janeiro early to become accustomed to the conditions.

"I've been here for a week now...and had fun waves every day,” he said.

"This beach (break) has a new face every day. I think it's better when the swell drops off a bit and (it) has a bit more shape to it.”

He was due to resume his campaign on Wednesday night.

Things didn't go as smoothly for fellow Sunshine Coaster Keely Andrew in the Oi Rio Women's Pro.

She finished last of three surfers in her opening heat, notching just 0.50 points to be adrift of the winner, compatriot Stephanie Gilmore (6.33).

Last year's tour rookie of the year, Andrew came into the fourth event of 10 stops on this year's tour in 11th place on the 17-strong rankings.

She was due to resume in round two on Wednesday night, with an elimination clash against Brazilian Silvana Lima.

RESULTS

Oi Rio Pro Men's Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 13.84, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.10, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.60

Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.26, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.16, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.97

Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.44, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.97, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.10

Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.27, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.63, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.84

Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.20, Bino Lopes (BRA) 11.06, Jack Freestone (AUS) 8.16

Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 14.67, Yago Dora (BRA) 14.64, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.40

Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.26, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 10.84, Frederico Morais (PRT) 7.70

Heat 8: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.40, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.53, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.23

Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.20, Joan Duru (FRA) 15.70, Connor O'Leary (AUS) 7.00

Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.44, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.13

Heat 11: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13.77, Conner Coffin (USA) 13.60, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.26

Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.34, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.86, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 3.17

Oi Rio Pro Men's Round 2 Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)

Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Bino Lopes (BRA)

Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)

Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)

Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)

Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Ethan Ewing (AUS)

Heat 7: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)

Heat 9: Connor O'Leary (AUS) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)

Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Heat 11: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)

Heat 12: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)

Oi Rio Women's Pro Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 12.00, Carissa Moore (HAW) 3.50, Laura Enever (AUS) 2.50

Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.07, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.00, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 6.57

Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6.33, Taina Hinckel (BRA) 1.50, Keely Andrew (AUS) 0.50

Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.67, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.43, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.83

Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.70, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.70, Pauline Ado (FRA) 7.40

Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) 15.60, Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.33, Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.27

Oi Rio Women's Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)

Heat 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Taina Hinckel (BRA)

Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)

Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)

Heat 6: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)

Topics:  julian wilson oi rio pro


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