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Wilkinson progresses at Bali WSL leg

Matt Wilkinson has found form in Bali, notching an important win to secure a third round berth as he attempts to kickstart his World Surf League campaign.

Apart from a ninth place at Bells Beach, Wilkinson has struggled to make a dent on tour this year and arrived at Keramas ranked a lowly 28th.

But he found form on Tuesday, scoring 7.17 and 7.77-point waves to easily beat France’s Joan Duru in one of the few heats on another quiet day of competition.

Brazilian Tomas Hermes bumped out fellow Australian and former WSL rookie of year Connor O’Leary by less than two points in the day’s final duel.

Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau had the wave of the day, showcasing his power with an aggressive layback on his way to an 8.40-point ride that consolidated his place in the third round.

New South Wales product Wilkinson joins series leader Julian Wilson as well as Joel Parkinson, Adrian Buchan and Wright brothers Mikey and Owen as one of six Australians in the final 24.

In-form wildcard Mikey, still just 21, will meet Wilson in heat six while Hawaii’s world champion John John Florence faces Brazil’s Jesse Mendes in the first heat.

The women’s program is yet to begin, with six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore boasting a healthy series lead thanks to wins in two of the four events this season.


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