Just a few weeks ago, 21-year-old Jacob Willcox won the Trials at the 2019 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and scored a seed into the main event. With a powerful style and an explosive performance, Jacob surfed his way through some of the biggest swell in CT competition and straight to a Quarterfinal finish.
On the back of his success at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the WSL has awarded Jacob a Wildcard into the Corona Bali Protected, held in the world-class wave of Keramas, Bali, from May 13 to May 25.
"I was so happy when I found out that I got the Wildcard to Bali," Jacob said. "I wasn't expecting it after Bells - I really just wanted to make the most of that opportunity, and wasn't even thinking about using it to get in to other events. But, it's worked out that way!"
"I've actually never surfed Keramas, so it's going to be a good challenge. I'm really excited. I've always wanted to surf it, and now is my opportunity! I am getting on a plane tonight and will have three days to practice before the event window opens."
Growing up in Margaret River, Western Australia, Jacob was born and bread on punchy waves with power - quite similar to the unique setup of Keramas.
"The wave at Keramas is a lot like some of the waves I grew up surfing at home in Western Australia, probably just a lot more perfect. But, I think my surfing will really fit the wave and I'm excited to get the chance to surf it!"
Pat O'Connel, SVP of Tours and Head of Competition at the World Surf League, explains the decision to offer Jacob the wildcard. "We're stoked to offer Jacob a Wildcard into the Corona Bali Protected based on the strength of his performance and his Quarterfinal finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach," he said.
"His preternatural ability to surf at a world-class level and competitive maturity is really exciting and we'll see how that translates from Bells Beach to Keramas!"
Rip Curl is also looking forward to seeing Jacob compete and perform at Keramas. "Jacob has been with us for nearly a decade," said Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl's Chief Marketing Officer. "It was unreal to see his performance at Bells, and it is even better to see him move towards his goal of the World Tour and with that, reach his potential."