Julian Wilson of Australia advances to Round 4 of the 2019 Oi Rio Pro after winning Heat 7 of Round 3 at Itauna Beach, Saquarema on June 21, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Julian Wilson of Australia advances to Round 4 of the 2019 Oi Rio Pro after winning Heat 7 of Round 3 at Itauna Beach, Saquarema on June 21, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Damien Poullenot

Wilson ecstatic to 'survive' arduous battle at Oi Rio Pro

SURFING: Sunshine Coast's Julian Wilson was visibly elated to claim a "big heat win" after battling some arduous conditions at the Oi Rio Pro

The 30-year-old progressed through to the Round of 16 for the third time this season after toppling Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau in six-to-eight foot (1.8 - 2.4m) waves at Itaúna overnight (AEST).

Although it was a low-scoring heat, Wilson surfed 11 waves to eventually come out with a total 8.90 over Lau's 6.10.

A ripping tide and solid surf made life tricky for the pair.

"(It was tough) for everyone even the ski rider was super apprehensive and unsure as to what line he wanted to take," Wilson told World Surf League.

"It was just a constant hamster wheel to get into position and find anything.

"I was literally happy to take anything and if it looked like I could have a go at it with one turn I was going to take it."

He said Lau had brought the best out of him in the surf and was ecstatic to progress further into the Championship Tour event.

"I was really happy to survive that," Wilson said.

"That was a big one and a big heat win for me over Zeke out there and I'm just happy to keep it going.

"Someone like Zeke will bring the best out of me and I think we both gave it our all but we both got pretty smashed.

Wilson moves into the Round of 16 where he will face Jesse Mendes (BRA), who eliminated Conner Coffin (USA) in his R/32 heat.

Meanwhile, fellow Sunshine Coaster Keely Andrew is also in the Round of 16 following her opening surf and will battle Caroline Marks in her next heat.