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Wright banks on surf history

Australian surfer Tyler Wright can claim the world surfing title if she wins in France next week.
Wright banks on surf history
Photo Source: AAP

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If Australian Tyler Wright could choose one place to have her world surf title hopes on the line, the south-west of France would be pretty high on the list.

It may not be the Gold Coast or Bells Beach, but the Landes break could almost be named "Little Australia" in surfing terms, with Aussies taking out all five events held there since it was added to the women's calendar in 2011.

Wright has claimed the last two of those, while she also featured in the final in 2012 and 2013.

Wright, 22, will clinch her maiden world championship at the season's second-last event with a win, and could do likewise if rival Courtney Conlogue does not win the event and the Australian reaches the quarter-final and finishes only one round behind the American.

In comparison, Conlogue has reached the final just once in 2014, and the quarters in the three previous years, before exiting in the fourth round last year.

Australians Nikki Van Dijk and Bronte Macaulay could also do Wright a huge favour in the non-elimination first round, when they meet with Conlogue.

Wright, who has won four events this year, will face South African Bianca Buitendag and Chelsea Tuach of Barbados in her opening round, and cannot meet Conlogue until the final.

Sally Fitzgibbons and Keely Andrew meet France's Johanne Defay in their first round battle, while Laura Enever and Stephanie Gilmore are the only other two Australians in the field for the event which is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

In the men's field Australian Matt Wilkinson is venturing towards must-win territory to keep his title hopes alive.

After winning the first two events of the year, he has now slipped to third on the rankings with three events to go.

He has not progressed beyond the third round in the past three events.

He is one of 12 Australians in the field, and will face Brazilian Miguel Pupo and Italian Leonardo Fioravanti in the first round.

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