The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - AMANDA LULHAM

CHAM­PION surfer and dot­ing dad Ju­lian Wil­son wanted to hold his gor­geous new baby girl so badly, the world ti­tle con­tender opted for a course of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion over the quick fix of surgery for a painful shoul­der in­jury at the start of the WSL sea­son.

Wil­son will have wife Ash­ley and daugh­ter Olivia by his side this month when he goes into the Pipe Mas­ters in Hawaii as one of only three men with a shot at win­ning the 2018 world crown.

“I am at my best with them by my side,’’ Aussie surfer Wil­son told The Satur­day Tele­graph ahead of his bat­tle with Brazil­ians Gabriel Me­d­ina and Filipe Toledo for the 2018 men’s world crown of surf­ing.

It is re­mark­able Wil­son is even in this po­si­tion af­ter a pre-sea­son bike ac­ci­dent al­most ended the 30-yearold Coolum lad’s bid for a maiden world crown be­fore it be­gan.

Wil­son said he opted for a long re­hab from a rup­tured AC joint — and surf­ing much of the sea­son in pain — to be a hands-on dad when his daugh­ter was born in March.

“I had a 50-50 chance of be­ing hands-on when she was born or zero chance if I had the oper­a­tion. That was a big part of my de­ci­sion,” said Wil­son, who made head­lines in 2015 for swim­ming to the aid of fel­low Aussie Mick Fan­ning dur­ing their shark en­counter. The Red Bull ath­lete’s de­ci­sion saw an ex­hausted Wil­son win the WSL sea­son’s open­ing event on the Gold Coast de­spite driv­ing hours each day from his Sun­shine Coast home so he could be with his wife and bub, and also surf­ing the fi­nal with his arm hang­ing use­lessly by his side.

Surfer and new dad Ju­lian Wil­son goes into Hawaii’s Pipe­line Mas­ters with a shot at tak­ing out surf­ing's 2018 World Crown. Pic­ture: Toby Zerna

Ash­ley, Olivia and Ju­lian.

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