Stab Magazine | Matt Wilkinson Has Unofficially Left The World Title Conversation

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Matt Wilkinson Has Unofficially Left The World Title Conversation

And Evan Geiselman swings his hammer.

news // Sep 12, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

After a week of thumb-twiddling the Hurley Pro has finally started, and in the space of about four hours Matt Wilkinson has removed himself from the world title hunt. After his round five finish in Tahiti, wildcard and near-death survivor Evan Geiselman sent him packing after round two.

There’s a lot to talk about after Day 1, and perhaps we should be discussing how Filipe Toledo’s going to fucking rule everybody over the next few days. But let us begin with world title dreams dashed:

“That left was really suiting those airs for Evan,” copped Wilko. “But I had my plan, which was to get some good rights. They were pretty tough to surf, so I didn’t really get too much going. My last one I thought may have put me back in the heat, but the judges didn’t seem to like it too much. Hopefully I can get on a little roll heading into this next leg and get some momentum from France and Portugal, then into Pipe. To lose that one so early in the contest is tough, but now you’ve got to go to France and try to not lose.”

First, yeah, Evan! It wasn’t but two years ago that I called your brother to tell him that you’d just died surfing Pipe. And while he may look boy band with abs of steel, Ev’s kinda punk rock. He lived. And he hasn’t looked back since. Last year he came back with a roar and almost qualified for the tour, which would have been the best story of the year, hands down. This year he earned a wildcard spot into the Hurley Pro and halted Wilko’s world title run in its tracks…and it came at a time when Florida really needed something to cheer for.

“I know I have to surf my best if I’m going to even compete against these guys,” said New Smyrna hero Evan when the day was done. “I think Wilko [Matt Wilkinson] surfed as good as you could’ve and got that 7-point ride. I’m just happy to have a good heat. I want to be here on the CT one day so I’m going to have to surf against these guys anyway and there are not really nerves there. I put higher expectations on myself than who I’m surfing against, but it’s fun. This is a huge opportunity. We have the business end of the QS coming up with three QS 10,000s left. This is a confidence boost and hopefully I can carry this forward.”

Wilko’s now become notorious for melting down the back half of the season. Typecasting’s a bitch. But, he has never finished better than 13th in the second half of the season since 2011. In the simplest of terms, Wilko is not a closer.



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