Julian Wilson Wins First ASP World Tour Event in Dramatic Fashion in Portugal
Redemption. Julian Wilson wanted it and he got it at Peniche, Portugal at the Rip Curl Pro, claiming his maiden ASP World Tour victory.
A year prior, Wilson and Gabriel Medina found themselves in the Final of the Quiksilver Pro in France. Wilson was sitting on a lead with minutes to go, only to have Medina pull out a late big score to steal away Wilson’s first ASP World Tour victory.
The runner-up finish would be the closest Wilson would come for over a year.
Coming into the final day of competition in Portugal, it certainly seemed that kindred spirits were bringing the talented young Aussie and Brazilian together. Wilson had been rolling. Ever since his Round 3 turnaround against Michel Bourez – where he turned a combination-situation into a win with a perfect 10 and a 6 in the span of three minutes – Wilson was in the kind of groove that slingshots a surfer deep into an event: he was finding the right waves, making the critical drops and threading the difficult beachbreak conditions in order to keep advancing.
In his morning quarterfinal heat with Owen Wright, Wilson found a small barrel with just over a minute to go and then punctuated the ride with a slob-grab air. He got the score he needed (8.03) and moved into the semis against Adriano de Souza. Unfortunately, the Oakley teammates didn’t put on the wave-for-wave duel that many had foreseen. Wilson started quick with a full-rotation, no grab air for a 9.7, and from there, the blow-out was just beginning. Minutes later he found a racey, left-hand barrel for a 9.57 and a near-perfect two-wave score of 19.27.
The Final was an entertaining affair, as one might expect considering Wilson and Medina are two of the most dynamic and well-rounded surfers on Tour. Twenty-seven waves were ridden between the two, but it would be Wilson’s last that decided the result. Needing a solid score after Medina had boosted and gotten barreled to the tune of a 15.37, Wilson was able to find one with potential. Despite some rip tide wobble on the wave, Wilson made his way in and out of a pinching barrel and put up a few quick turns and then threw down the claim of his lifetime.
Both surfers had to wait on the shoreline, surrounded by their respective entourages, for the final result. The score came, an 8.43, and Wilson was elated; Medina was crushed.
“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 behind and that was the scorer. I don’t know what to say, I’m just so happy.”