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 capitalised 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 greatful 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 revelled 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
1. Nat Young 16.20 D Jayke Sharpe 14.27 (AUS)
2. Julian Wilson 15.10 D Drew Courtney 14.30 (AUS)
1. Nat Young D Hodei Collazo (SPAIN)
2. Austin Ware Jayke Sharpe D Austin Ware (USA)
3. Julian Wilson D Rhys Bombacci (AUS)
4. Drew Courtney D Davey Cathels (AUS)
The SriLankan Airlines Pro will be live webcast and will include a quality produced and globally distributed television show along with television newsfeeds distributed internationally throughout the event as well as highest quality digital images focusing on the event, the environment, wildlife and of course the abundance of surf from the region.
The SriLankan Airlines Pro is made possible thanks to SriLankan Airlines; Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Lanka Sportreizen, Dialog, Arugam Bay Beach Wear, John Keells, Dilmah, Wild Elephant, Billabong and ASP Australasia.