Wilson bows out again in another narrow loss at Rio Pro
JULIAN Wilson is still chasing his first win after falling to highly touted Hawaiian rookie Sebastian Zietz in an enthralling barrel shootout at the Billabong Rio Pro.
The Coolum Beach World No.9's two-wave score of 16.34 (out of a possible 20) was one of the round's best on Saturday night, with the Barra Da Tijuca beach break serving up punchy waves of up to 1.5m.
And for a moment it looked good enough against the reigning Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion, until Zietz scored a late 8.10 for a 17.47 total.
Wilson's 13th place at the year's third stop equals his worst result of the year, which came last start at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
In his third elite tour season, Wilson has spoken of his desire to win the world championship this year.
But so far he has been unable to advance past the quarter-finals of an event.
The 24-year-old's fifth place at the Quiksilver Pro season opener on the Gold Coast is his best result.
His next chance to add to his sole tour win - the 2012 Rip Curl Pro at Portugal - will come at next month's Volcom Fiji Pro.
Coast-based former world tour member Robbie Sherwell said Wilson was unlucky not to have won.
"Again, it comes down to luck - where and when the waves came through," Sherwell said.
"He definitely surfed well enough to win most of the heats, but not that heat."
Against Zietz, also 24 and the conqueror of Australia's joint world No.2 Taj Burrow in round one, Wilson entered a big barrel deep to open with a 9.17.
The Hawaiian replied with a smaller barrel that scored 8.10 and took the lead - 14.20 to 14.17 - with 13 minutes remaining.
Wilson gave a subdued fist pump when a 7.17 recaptured the lead, before Zietz's 8.10 decided the contest.
The world No.23 then beat Tahiti's Michel Bourez and Ireland's Glenn Hall in the fourth found, setting up a quarter-final clash against Australia's two-time world champion Mick Fanning.
That contest was slated for last night.