Julian Wilson.
Julian Wilson. ©ASP/ Robertson

Wilson pipped by Burrows

WESTERN Australia's Taj Burrow has dispatched red-hot Coolum rookie Julian Wilson in the quarter-finals of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Burrow established an early lead as both tube specialists went blow for blow in the opening exchanges, before the sandgroper sealed the deal with a 10-out-of-10 ride.

The quarter-final score read Burrow 17.94, Wilson 17.50

"What do you say after that?" Burrow said. "It was another one of those situations where we were both getting good waves.

"I broke my board and was paddling out when he dropped in on that left - first left of the heat - and I knew it was a 10 straight away.

"I'm still a bit blown away. It's been an amazing event though. Some of the best waves I've ever surfed."

The result sent Burrow into the semi-finals, only for him to be beaten by American Kelly Slater and finish equal third.

In the final, Brazilian Adriano de Souza went over Slater in clean barrels of 1-1.5m.

The 24-year-old opened up with a solid forehand barrel to secure a 9.00 out of a possible 10 and put pressure on his hero, the defending champion.

Slater answered back with two solid scores of his own, but De Souza came back in the final minutes to hammer the nail in the coffin and secure the third elite tour win of his career.

Wilson, second and equal third at the past two WCT events respectively, has shaped as the guy to watch in his first year on tour.

He has two more events on the 2011 ASP World Title Series calendar to prove himself.

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