Wilson urged to stay aggressive in world title quest
SURFING: Former world tour contender Gary Elkerton is pushing fellow Sunshine Coaster Julian Wilson to stay assertive in his tilt for this year's title.
'Kong' liked what he saw from the 28-year-old at the Billabong Pro Tahiti last month and he hopes that form will carry through until the end of the season.
"We saw him get very aggressive to win. Right through that event, he was just very focused, more than I'd ever seen him before," Elkerton said.
"I think there hasn't been enough of that for the last few years."
Wilson has long been touted a world champion in the making but has not finished higher than sixth in six years on tour.
But Elkerton hopes the tide has turned for the Peregian Beach talent.
"I just think it's his time now," he said.
"You get to a point in your career where you kind of go I've had enough of this...I want to start winning and I want to win a world title. I really hope Julian can do it."
Elkerton knows what it's like to come close to winning the crown. He was runner-up on three occasions.
So he's wishing Wilson - a close friend - all the best.
"There is a moment...when you really start to search for that next level to get up on to and I really believe that he's found it," he said.
"To see that aggression in winning (at Tahiti) and in holding his ground off (Gabriel) Medina....and I think he has to do that with everyone.
"I think he has to to make it very clear now that he's serious for a world title and the only way to do that is to be smart, with aggression.
"That's his thing to win because everything else he's tried hasn't worked.
"He's had moments at it in his career but it's not enough. This is a competition for a world title and huge bonuses. It's for glory, for everything and there comes a time that you just go 'hey, that's it, I'm stepping up to the plate' and I think after Tahiti he knows that."
Wilson will resume his quest at the Hurley Pro at Trestles in California on Thursday morning.
"They've got little launch pads everywhere and they can do aerials and I think coming off the back of his last win, he's going to be very highly motivated and he'll be hard to beat," Elkerton said.
The top seven surfers on the ratings are separated by relatively few points with four of 11 stops remaining.
South Africa's Jordy Smith sits atop the standings but each of the events this year have been won by different competitors.
"It's ridiculous how close that is. It can go either way and that's a good position for Julian to be in right now," Elkerton said.
MOOLOOLABA's Keely Andrew will resume her women's world tour campaign at Trestles.
In just her second year on the circuit, she's 12th in the rankings, with three of 10 events left.
She's also fourth in the Qualifying Series, enhancing her claims for a spot in next year's world tour with a recent quarter finals appearance at a 6,000-point event at California.