Wilson into third round at Pipe Masters as he chases world title

Wilson into third round at Pipe Masters as he chases world title

Australia's Julian Wilson has cruised into the third round of the season-ending Pipe Masters World Surf League event in Hawaii as he chases a maiden world title.

The Sunshine Coast surfer found the best wave late in his opening-round heat against Brazil's Tomas Hermes and local wildcard Seth Moniz to win by 1.67 points.

Julian Wilson is in a fight for the world title in the last event of the year.Credit:EPA

Wilson scored 5.57 out of 10 with less than five minutes remaining to post a two-wave total of 8.07 in challenging conditions on Friday to finish ahead of Hermes (6.40) and Moniz (4.57).

"Feels really good to get through a heat that's so tricky like that," Wilson said.

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

The 30-year-old is in a battle with Brazilian pair Gabriel Medina and Felipe Toledo for the championship.

Wilson must make the event final to have any hope of winning the title.

Medina holds a near 5000-point lead in the rankings and will claim his second world championship if he wins or is runner-up in the event.

If Medina is eliminated in the semi-finals, Wilson or Toledo must win the event to take out the championship.

Should Medina fall at the quarter-finals or earlier, Wilson or Toledo needs to make the final to claim the title.

"I'm definitely closer this year, still needing a really big result to get it," Wilson said.

"I feel like the three of us in contention are all feeling we need a big result to clinch it. I feel like we're all in the same boat."

Wilson is the only one of the trio to have won a Pipe Masters title, claiming the event in 2014.

Fellow Australian Matt Wilkinson gave Wilson a helping hand before his heat, claiming victory in his opening-round encounter with Toledo and Brazil's Caio Ibelli.

Toledo will now have to come through an elimination second-round heat to keep his world title hopes alive.


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