Owen Wright is back in business. The tall Australian defeated Matt Wilkinson in the finals of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 14.66 to 13.50, thus completing his miraculous return to form. “I couldn’t have done it without all the support of my friends, family, partner and my little baby boy,” Wright told the media following the win.
The former—and once again—title contender will be wearing the yellow jersey as the World Number One at the next stop at the Margaret River in Western Australia.
Wright, 27, hadn’t surfed competitively since December 2015, when he was unfortunately injured warming up for the Pipe Masters in Hawaii, where he sustained a TBI, and suffered concussion-like symptoms for more than a year.
After being cleared earlier this year by his doctor and WSL physicians, Owen got his feet wet at the QS in Newcastle in February, and then subsequently accepted a WSL wildcard spot to the 2017 CT. So roughly 15 months after suffering a life-threatening injury, with questions if Owen would ever regain his former surf form, the lanky Australian stands on top of the world.
“I think it was the start of February—I was sitting in the doctor’s office and there were question marks on the year,” Wright told local news after the victory. “So to be sitting here right now, we just pushed hard and went hard and confronted every fear of getting back into it. There were a lot of questions of getting back into the sport and back into pretty much what took me out and could have taken me out forever. I just kept going and kept doing it.”