The sneaky slider from Coolum is poised to make history!
There has been so much brouhaha surrounding this year’s World Surf League Champion’s Tour that traditional storylines are becoming lost in the weeds. Early on we had a major realignment, dropping Fiji, Trestles, Pipeline (I think) and introducing Lemoore. Mick Fanning retired in an emotionally touching Bells’ final. Sharks interrupting Margaret River. The ultimate disappointment of professional competitive wave pool surfing. Uluwatu becoming Western Australia’s Tourism Board’s new property, etc.
So many head twisting turns that it has been impossible to focus on the simple. Like, is this finally the year Julian Wilson takes home the number one trophy?
I have predicted his ascent to the very top since BeachGrit first launched some four years ago and have been stymied each. But is this his time?
It seems so. There he sits atop the Jeep Leaderboard wearing the yellow jersey. He has performed well in Brazil, still in the quarterfinals. His nearest competition, Italo Ferreira has been bumped out. Mick Fanning is now retired (emotionally touching) and the rest of the Brazilians are rabidly hungry, surfing incredibly but… I just don’t know. This feels like Julian Wilson’s year. He is a father now, as you know, and this father knows the powerful wings a child lends.
So what do you think? Sport’s gambling is basically legal now in the United States of America. Hopefully at this time next year I can wander down to my local bar and plop down $100 on Julian Wilson but this year at this time I’m stuck with mere theoreticals.
But theoretically let’s say Julian makes it to the semis in Brazil before being clubbed by Filipe. Then off they all go to Keramas and tell me there ain’t a better wave in the world suited to Julian’s game than Bali’s favorite playground. Let’s say semis and then J-Bay where Julian has been a regular finalist plus has bonus shark power™ from that incident a few years back. Chopes, France, Portugal are all quarters or above for the boy. Right? Then Pipe* and it is difficult to imagine another hoisting that number one trophy.
Tell me I’m wrong. I bet you can’t. I bet you $100 you can’t.*
*a theoretical $100 until next year.