SAN CLEMENTE, California/USA (Friday, February 3, 2012) ? Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, built momentum amidst his first season on the ASP World Tour, establishing himself as a major threat at every event while taking out the coveted ASP Rookie of the Year Award to finish an impressive 9th overall. With a full season under his belt, the highly-praised Aussie will take the priceless experience gained throughout his rookie year into the 2012 and SURFER Magazine caught up with Wilson to get his thoughts on the year ahead. This? is their story?
The Australian prodigy Julian Wilson is as poised as any of the world?s best competitors for a run at the World Title. Yet still, the influx of new talent, new rules, and new waves set to debut on Tour this year have taken much of the attention and the pressure off of Julian. With the hype of a new contract, the weight of rookie expectations, and a grueling qualification schedule behind him, his road ahead is paved with potential. To call him an underdog would be foolish; but for once the glare of the spotlight has a new batch of surfers to focus on, leaving the hyper-talented Sunshine Coast native to his own devices.
What?s the source of your drive for 2012? What kind of expectations do you place on yourself?
My expectations for myself have always been really high. Obviously there are always expectations from people around me as well. They might not always let me know that, but I know it?s there. That?s just the way it is, it?s always going to be like that. I?d love to win an event this year. I obviously want to keep moving up in the ratings as well.
Can you reflect on winning the Rookie of the Year award?
It was cool to get Rookie of the Year, I mean it was only between me and Alejo so there wasn?t a whole bunch of us going for it. But it actually turned out to be a really good race between us. He finished number 10 and I finished number 9, and it easily could have just been a one horse race. At the start of the year, he made quarters at Snapper and I didn?t make a heat for the first three events. I wasn?t sure I was even going to have a chance. It was good to turn it around, and we had a good battle, to finish only one spot apart.
Whenever you look back at your rookie year on Tour, what are going to be the defining moments?
The moments that are going to stick out are obviously making a final in France, and the waves we had in Portugal, Tahiti, and Pipe?they were all amazing. The heat I had with Kai Otton in Portugal was one that I?ll remember forever, that was probably they best heat I?ve had with someone in my career so far. Trestles was amazing; the waves were fun, and it felt good to finally get a result there.