The confidence boost that Wilko needed

RUNNER UP: Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson reached the final of the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast for a second straight year
RUNNER UP: Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson reached the final of the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast for a second straight year Kelly Cestari

A SECOND placed finish at the Quiksilver Pro will give Byron Bay surfer Matt Wilkinson the confidence boost he needs heading into the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia next week.

He beat current world champion John John Florence in the semi-finals of the Quicksilver Pro before going down to a returning Owen Wright in the final.

Wilkinson won two of the three Australian events on the World Championship Tour last year and finished the season fifth overall.

He admits to feeling the pressure when he returned to Snapper Rocks as the defending champion of the Quiksilver Pro.

"Before the event, I thought I was going to absolutely blow it and I was pretty wound up,” Wilkinson said.

"All the pressure fell off when I went out there. It's good fun to surf this wave with no one out there.

"Last year was massive for me. Last week was the first time I have surfed Snapper since my win last year, and it feels good to be back.”

Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy was unable to replicate his form which saw him reach the semi-finals last year and was eliminated in the third round.

He should have plenty to look forward to this season after completing his first full year on the tour last year.

Former Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright is the defending women's champion this year and was eliminated in the quarter-finals.

"This is a new year so I'm not going to focus too much on last year,” Wright said.

"I was happy with it.”

Ten awesome things to do this week

Editor of  Express Examiner Susanna Freymark interviews Casino's 2015 Mr Beef Chad Taylor.

From Mr Beef in Casino to Byron Bay Rugby

Fisherman in hospital after hooking a shark off Evans Head

File photo of NSW Ambulance.

Fisherman in his seventies rushed to hospital after shark encounter.

Hemp fan reaps what he sows

Stall assistant Bubaloo Fahy at the Hemp Foods Australia stall at Mullumbimby Farmers' Market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Businessman and campaigner celebrates legalisation of hemp as food

Local Partners

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

MIRANDA Kerr and her husband-to-be, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, are set to marry today in decidedly downgrade style with a backyard wedding.

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!