Australia’s Julian Wilson wins SriLankan Airlines Pro at Arugam Bay
Australia’s Julian Wilson has won the 6 star rated Association of Surfing Professionals SriLankan Airlines Pro in flawless 4 to 6 feet surf on an epic final day.
Wilson came into this event courtesy of a wild-card from the sponsor and throughout the event he dominated, continually posting the day’s highest scoring rides and took a deserved win over 19 year-old USA surfer Nat Young.
Wilson and Young were unquestionably the worthy finalists here as both verified their status as two of the most exciting emerging ASP surfers.
Wilson controlled the final from start to finish and capitalized early by taking wave priority when Young took off on a poor opening wave.
By mid-final Wilson had a solid lead and Young faulted slightly going for some gigantic floating re entry moves that never quite came off while Wilson continued to build on his lead scoring a 7.4 ride late in the final which left Young chasing an outstanding 9 point ride to bridge the gap.
While everyone knew Young was capable of such a score with only five minutes remaining finding the wave that could deliver the score became Young’s task, which he could not complete.
“I can’t believe what an outstanding event this has been for me and all the surfers who have travelled here,” said 22 year-old Wilson after his win.
“The waves have been outstanding everyday and in many ways they are similar to the point waves around Noosa where I live – but probably way more consistent.”
“I’m back and over my injuries and seriously looking hard at the qualifying series – this result is ideal for me and I’ll head to California for the US Open full of confidence.”
It was both Wilson and Young’s best ever performance at ASP level and both look ready to seriously challenge the highest ranks of surfing.
“I’ve had an amazing week here and I’m really grateful to have made the final,” said Young.
“I knew the only way to beat Julian would be to score two excellent waves in that final – he’s been the stand-out all week – I went for the win but came unstuck on a few critical moves but I’m really pleased with this result.”
Both semi finals were incredibly close affairs today with Wilson defeating Drew Courtney by catching an 8.5 ride in the last minutes while Nat Young posted an outstanding 9.33 near the end of his semi final to edge out Australia’s Jayke Sharpe.
Arugam Bay saved it’s best to the last day here and delivered amazing conditions with clean long lined waves reeling across this ideal point break set-up and delivered both chargeable sections and barrels and the surfers simply reveled in the perfection.
The event was outstanding overall and all in attendance agreed another magnificent venue had been added to the ASP surfing tour and all look forward to next year.
1. Julian Wilson (AUS/Qld/Coolum) 14.33
2. Nat Young (USA/Cal/SantaCruz) 8.83