Teen surfer's love of Julian Wilson 'purely professional'
LIKE most teenage girls, Jaleesa Vincent has a keen interest in Coolum surf superstar Julian Wilson.
But unlike most of her contemporaries, Vincent admires the handsome blond poster boy for his surfing.
The 25-year-old World Championship Tour star serves as inspiration for aspiring professional Vincent, who will put her talents on show in this weekend's the second leg of the Queensland State Junior Titles.
"You see what he's doing on tour and you know that it's possible," she said yesterday of Wilson.
"The waves here on the Coast aren't that good, but he's showing that you can still make it far."
Vincent hones her skills at Coolum, the same beach break a teenage Wilson (pictured) called home as he developed into one of the world's top surfing prospects.
"He comes home for holidays and he comes here for a while, so we all chase down whenever the surf's best because he'll be there," she said.
"You see him surfing out there a lot and it's really cool."
Vincent is a long way from the Hurley-signed star's top-15 world ranking or his multimillion-dollar endorsement deals but she is following in his wake on surfing's pathway to success.
After winning the first final of the under-18s women's state championships on the Gold Coast last month, the 16-year-old is in pole position to take home the crown with a strong final leg on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
If the Coolum High student can dominate this weekend's two-day event she will earn a Roxy Pro Trials spot, with the winner surfing in the World Championship Tour event on the Gold Coast next year.
The Queensland title will also put her in the company of world champions like Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, but to win she will have to beat a strong field including Moffat Beach duo Laura Poncini and Sophie McCulloch as well as fellow Coolum gun Isabella Nichols and Noosa's Vittoria Farmer.
Wurtulla's Kai Hing will be among the chances in the under-18 boys' event, which is led by North Stradbroke's Ethan Ewing.