Photos courtesy of Ryan Miller…
SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Friday, October 19, 2012) – Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, has claimed his maiden ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) victory today, besting a rampaging Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, in the dying seconds of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal played host to pivotal moments in the hunt for the 2012 ASP World Title as well as today’s dramatic culmination between two rising superstars.
In a re-match of the surfers’ Final bout from France last season, Medina and Wilson went blow-for-blow in today’s Final in front of a capacity crowd at Supertubos. While Medina favored a more technical approach to the heat, executing a number of progressive maneuvers, it was Wilson’s barrel sense and combination ability that ultimately tipped the heat in the final moments.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Wilson said. “I lost to Gabriel (Medina) on the buzzer last year in France and to beat him back again on the buzzer, I don’t even know how to describe the feeling. He was trying to hold onto the lead in the end there, he pretty much did what I did in the Final last year in France. He was too busy worrying about me, and that wave came in the dying moments and that was the scorer. I don’t know what to say, I’m just so happy.”
Wilson’s final wave, a multi-section barrel followed by a number of turns, came in at an 8.43 and gave the Australian the edge with no time left on the clock. Both surfers arrived to the shoreline without knowing who had won the Final.
“I felt like I got the score,” Wilson said. “Especially after my other wave that I got a 7 on, but at the same time the crowd was pretty quiet. I think there are a lot of Portuguese supporters out there. I didn’t feel that confident walking up the beach; Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) had my back but he wasn’t 100% sure. Then they just read the score out and I was so happy.”
Today’s win vaults Wilson from No. 12 to No. 6 on the ASP WCT rankings and sets him amongst the very best surfers in the world for the final leg of the 2012 season.
“My number one goal this year was to win one of these World Championship Tour events,” Wilson said. “I won Huntington, which was pretty big but it wasn’t a ‘CT so there was definitely a space left in there for me to accomplish. To win here is just unbelievable.”