Wilson favourite to win Championship Tour
SURFING: Championship Tour icon Joel Parkinson believes Coolum Beach's Julian Wilson has all the attributes to win the world title.
The 26-year-old is fourth in the race for this year's crown after seven of 11 events.
He has been highly consistent, finishing second three times. He is only a relative handful of points behind ratings leader Adriano De Souza.
"He's amazing," Parkinson said.
"He has the potential to definitely challenge for a world title."
And it could be this year.
"If he can make it all the way to (the final event at) Hawaii and still be in with a chance, he'll be hard to beat," Parkinson said.
Parkinson, 34, knows what it takes to be the best. He won the 2012 world title.
He said Wilson had the versatility and talent to get to the top.
"He's good at all breaks," he said.
"He's consistent everywhere, in big waves, small waves and barrels.
"He's the whole package. That's what you need to be a champion."
The next stop on tour, the Hurley Pro, is set to get underway in the early hours of tomorrow morning in California.
Wilson has been pitched into a round one heat including Sebastien Zietz and Brett Simpson.
While Wilson is faring well in his fifth year on tour, Parkinson is 18th in the 32-man field.
He couldn't put a finger on why he's had a disappointing season so far.
But Parkinson said: "There have been a lot of close calls and hopefully they can turn around and come my way from now on."
Parkinson calls the Gold Coast home but lived at Moffat Beach until he was 13. "I loved it here. I went to primary school at Currimundi and I got my surfing bug in Caloundra. It was a great place to learn how to surf," he said.
He was at his old stomping ground during the weekend for the Billabong Parko Grom Stomp, a popular four-day junior event.
"It was awesome," he said.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast goofy footer Dimity Stoyle will attempt to break a worrying trend on the women's championship tour, at the Swatch Women's Pro at Trestles.
She has failed to get past round two in the past five CT events, a string of disappointing results.
In her second year on tour, she is 16th in the standings. The top-10 on tour automatically requalifies for next year's 17.
There are four events remaining on the 10-stop tour. She will collide with Australian heavyweights Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore in round one at Trestles.