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Wright in good shape as surf tour resumes

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016

A month-long training window has ensured title-leading Australian Tyler Wright the best possible preparation for the next stop of the World Surf League in California.

Wright holds a slim 550-point lead over Courtney Conlogue of the US with four events remaining, and has spent the past few weeks training at Lower Trestles - near Los Angeles - ahead of Wednesday's event.

"I am feeling strong and ready," she said.

"I've spent the last couple of months training and working on boards.

"I have had a lot more time to prepare and be comfortable in various conditions."

Wright was knocked out in the semi-finals of the US Open of Surf in California in late July.

She'll face fellow Australian Nikki Van Dijk and Hawaiian Bethany Hamilton in her opening round.

She has reached the quarter-finals in her only two visits to Lower Trestles, but is confident she will progress beyond the last eight this time around.

"My plan is to win every heat and win every final," Wright said.

"It is a very tough draw, but I like that.

"There are definitely two talented surfers going after the world title, but it is irrelevant to what I do because we are on opposite sides of the draw."

Fellow Australian and No.5 on the leaderboard, Sally Fitzgibbons, faces the highly-rated Lakey Peterson of the US and Hawaiian Malia Manuel in the opening heat while Laura Enever can do Wright a favour as she faces Conlogue in her heat.

Australians Stephanie Gilmore and Keely Andrew then match up in the final opening-round heat with Johanne Defay of France.

Meanwhile, Australian Matt Wilkinson will need to make his first quarter-final at Lower Trestles if he's to reclaim his championship lead from Hawaiian John John Florence.

Wilkinson has slipped 3900 points behind Florence, and with Brazilian Gabriel Medina hot on his heels in third, he desperately needs to produce a strong showing in the fourth-last event of the year.

"I love surfing out here even though I haven't had a huge result, but that kind of number hasn't stopped me this year," Wilkinson said.

Mick Fanning is also back for the meet after skipping the most recent event in Tahiti and will contest close friend Joel Parkinson in his first heat.

Australia's world No.4 Adrian Buchan comes up against countryman Kai Otton and Brazil's Miguel Pupo in his opening round, while Julian Wilson, Ryan Callianan, Adam Melling, Davey Cathels, Matt Banting, Jack Freestone, Josh Kerr and Stuart Kennedy take the Aussie contingent to 13 in the men's competition.

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