Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 10:48 AM


Aussie Matt Wilkinson has a reputation as one of the most laidback surfers on the World Surf League tour, but a controversial score that saw him eliminated from his Round 2 heat at the Hurley Pro caused ‘Wilko’ to blow up.

Chasing a 6.87 to progress ahead of wildcard Brett Simpson, the judges gave Wilkinson a 6.63 to send the Central Coast product tumbling out at Lower Trestles.

The normally reserved Wilkinson was clearly furious with the judges, shouting to the shore and slamming his hand into the water after the score was posted.

The standard of judging has been widely criticised – by fans, pundits and current surfers alike – throughout the Hurley Pro.

“It is hard to accept when they make decisions that decide people’s lives and don’t take care to make the decision right and are not at all held accountable,” an upset Wilkinson said afterwards.

Compatriot Julian Wilson, who was also eliminated in Round 2 by a mere 0.04 points, also turned the spotlight on the judges.

“The Judges might need to take some responsibility for their scores over the past two days. Might be time to put them under the microscope, like they do to us,” Wilson said.

“Might be time to break down what the judges see and understand as good surfing in comparison to what the best surfers in the world see and understand as good surfing, as it could be a little different?”

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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