Santa Cruz surfer Nat Young is coming up on top Down Under.
Young defeated Australian native Julian Wilson, 12.50-10.50, on Saturday during Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the second stop on the ASP World Tour calendar. Wilson, 24, is rated No. 5 on the World Tour and is considered a title contender. Young is a World Tour rookie.
The win advances Young to Round 4, where he'll take on a pair of Aussies in Taj Burrow and Kai Otton. Burrow and Otton won Heats 1 and 2 of Round 3, respectively.
“That was huge for me,” Young said according to an ASP release. “I lost in this round at Snapper, so my goal was to improve from there. The waves weren't pretty, but I knew if I could find a few, I could maybe get a few scores on my backhand. Julian is so polished and so good – it was always going to be a difficult heat. Stoked to get through though and we'll just see what tomorrow brings.”
Young struck first in Heat 3 against Wilson, recording a score of 7.50 out of 10 on his first wave of the heat. With the break not producing, he eeked out a 5 on his only other wave of the heat. That served as a worthy backup as Wilson couldn't scratch more than a 3 out of his first two waves. His third wave came with 14 seconds left and was awarded a score of 7.5, but that was just short of a win.