Byron surfer needs to regroup after elimination
A GUTTED Matt Wilkinson will need to regroup after a disappointing result at the Quiksilver Pro in France.
The Byron Bay resident is slipping down the rankings with only two events left on the World Surf League calendar.
He was eliminated in the third round of the competition with the in-form John John Florence and former world champion Gabriel Mendina ahead of him on the leaderboard.
Wilkinson's early efforts are going to waste with a string of bad results in the last four events, unable to produce his best surfing and select the right options past the third round.
He never looked comfortable in the heat and Kai Otton edged him out with a 12.60 (out of 20).
"The plan was to sit on the back of that little rip,” Wilkinson said.
"I moved off of that and I nearly got to a couple wide ones that ran off, but they did not end up turning out.
"Kai got the best wave of that heat. I probably should have stuck to the plan a little bit.
"I felt like my surfing was great but I just could not get a wave in that heat.”
Meanwhile, Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy was the pick of the three Far North Coast surfers in the men's competition at France.
He made it as far as the fifth round before he was eliminated by a narrow margin against Hawaiian surfer Keanu Asing.
Kennedy is on the cusp of re-qualification after his first full season on the tour.
He is surfing this season as an injury replacement.