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More California surf upsets help Wilkinson

AAP logoAAP 11/09/2016

Matt Wilkinson's surfing world title hopes were stung by Brett Simpson in California but a day later, the American wildcard did the Australian a big favour.

After Simpson on Friday eliminated Wilkinson - second on the WSL championship standings - in round two, the 31-year-old knocked out series leader John John Florence on Saturday in four-to-six foot waves at Lower Trestles.

And to help Wilkinson even more, another American wildcard Tanner Gudauskas took down third-ranked Gabriel Medina, also in round three.

The two defeats limited any advantage Florence and Medina may have gained with only three more events remaining on the world tour after Trestles.

It wasn't a great day for the Australians overall, with only Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Stuart Kennedy still alive but all facing sudden-death fifth-round heats.

Compatriots Mick Fanning, Kai Otton, Jack Freestone and Adrian Buchan were all sent packing.

Jordy Smith and Filipe Toledo, with combined scores of 18.50 and 18.97 respectively, are in red-hot form and moved straight into the quarter-finals along with Gudauskas and Alex Ribeiro.

Kelly Slater, who is in good form following his title win in Tahiti last month, can put more pressure on the top three if he can produce another big showing over the pointy end of the event.

"I started surfing here when I was 12-years-old and it was the first point break I've ever surfed," said Slater.

"I just fell in love with the wave. It's always been one of my favourites."

The event won't run on Sunday, with organisers set to reconvene early on Monday for the next call on when they proceed.

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