More than a Pipe dream: Julian still focused on worlds
SURFING: Julian Wilson remains focused on winning the World Surf League Championship Tour as long as he remains a mathematical chance.
After dropping vital points in Portugal, the dream appeared to be over for the Coolum 27-year-old, after falling to seventh place in world rankings.
But coming into the final tournament of the year, Wilson remains a rough chance to snatch the title should he win the Pipe Masters in Hawaii and a lot of other results go his way.
Pipe is the pinnacle of the surfing calendar and having won both Pipe and the Triple Crown last year, Wilson will go in swinging.
"I kind of made a goal, as long as I had a shot at the title come Pipe - that goal has been accomplished - so I can go into Pipe excited that there's a lot on the line," he said.
"I've had some great results and I've had some bad results, but it's been somewhat of a consistent year, and if I have a good result at Pipe I've accomplished that goal (of being consistent through the year).
"Going over to Hawaii to defend the Triple Crown and Pipe Masters is exciting as well, so I'm in a lot more positive situation this time, this year, than I was last year at this time."
Last year Wilsonwent into the final tournament of the year with his back against the wall, struggling to requalify for this year's tour.
This time he goes in with a chance at the title, but it could have been a much better chance had fate not intervened earlier in the year.
Wilson was the in-form surfer on tour and led Mick Fanning in the J-Bay final that was interrupted by the infamous shark attack incident.
Both surfers were awarded runner-up points and Wilson struggled for form from that moment on.
"I had a lot of momentum through J-Bay and I've only had one good result since then," Wilson said. "The amount of attention it brought (him going to Fanning's aid when the shark attacked), was something I wasn't thinking about at all or prepared for.
"It's a weird situation because what I did was kind of selfless and to help a friend, and for people to think that what I did was courageous, it kind of makes me uncomfortable to talk about."