VIA – SUNSHINE COAST DAILY
Wilson takes aim at ASP
Mark Bode | 18th November 2011
COOLUM Beach star Julian Wilson has teed off on ASP officials for prematurely awarding Kelly Slater his 11th world crown, but hopes the embarrassing slip-up will result in a more professional tour.
Wilson, who is enjoying a break at home after a sparkling debut season on the world tour, said yesterday that the sport’s governing body needed to keep pace with surfing’s increased popularity.
American great Slater was wrongly awarded his 11th world title at the Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco earlier this month after officials thought he had accrued enough points to secure the championship.
Slater was quickly alerted to the mistake and informed officials, who subsequently retracted the title.
He was crowned champion again the following day, after reaching the quarter-finals of the same event.
The mistake resulted in ASP chief executive David Carr resigning.
“I just find it really embarrassing for surfing that that happened. They let that happen,” Wilson said.
“Maybe it’s a good wake-up call for the ASP to recognise the direction that surfing’s heading in and how fast it is growing.
“They maybe need to catch up a bit.”
Wilson’s next event is the famous Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii next month.
The season-ending event at the legendary Banzai Pipeline break will present him with an excellent opportunity to be crowned rookie of the year.
He is in eighth place on the world title rankings, two spots ahead of Brazilian Alejo Muniz.
Wilson, who turned 23 recently, has surfed Pipeline numerous times but never in competition.
He will head to Hawaii with plenty of confidence, however, after finishing second overall at the Triple Crown of Surfing on the island last year despite being barred from competing in the final event of that series, the Billabong Pipe Masters, because he was not on the world tour at that stage.
“I’ve surfed there a bunch, but when you’re free surfing there’s a crazy amount of people out on the water and it’s really hard to get waves,” he said.
“It will be nice to go out there and surf a 30-minute heat with one other guy and take our pick of hopefully some amazing waves.”
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