Mitch Coleborn (AUS)
Mitch Coleborn (AUS) Kelly Cestari

Coleborn gets chance to knock off Slater again at Fiji Pro

IN-FORM Coast goofy-footer Mitch Coleborn has again found himself on a collision course with American great Kelly Slater at the Volcom Fiji Pro.

But unlike at this event last year, when Coleborn stunned the 11-time world champion in round one, there will be no second chance for either competitor when they clash this morning.

Defending champion Slater, who bypassed the opening round, booked a third-round duel with Coleborn after beating Fijian Aca Lalabalavu yesterday when the action was switched from Cloudbreak to Restaurants.

The left-hand reef break served up 2m barrels.

Coleborn is coming off a Prime win in Brazil and a perfect 10 in round one.

The Coast's other competitor, World Championship Tour No.12 Julian Wilson, advanced yesterday after beating Brazilian Alejo Muniz by 4.89 points.

Coolum Beach's Wilson is scheduled to meet American Kolohe Andino in the third round.

Coleborn, 13th in this WCT event last year, is 14th on the world rankings and a strong performance in Fiji will position him nicely to secure a debut berth on next year's elite tour.

The 26-year-old's former long-time coach, Coast-based Ian Portingale, said Coleborn could win in Fiji.

"It's a pretty exciting time for him," the former national coach said.

"Obviously, you need to keep a level head."

Wilson is searching for his best form after finishing 13th in his past two WCT events.

Following his win over Muniz, Wilson said: "From here it looks perfect, but when you're out there in a barrel there's not much room.

"I couldn't come out of anything down the line."

All of Australia's big names advanced yesterday.

Reigning world champion Joel Parkinson beat Dusty Payne after posting a two-wave total of 18.47 out of 20 compared to the Hawaiian's 15.53.

Two-time world champion Mick Fanning beat American Alex Grey 14.67 to 6.27, and Taj Burrow edged fellow Aussie Adam Melling in round two before beating Hawaiian Fred Patacchia 18.10 to 12.33 in one of only three third-round heats surfed yesterday.


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