Julian Wilson Wins 2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti
Julian Wilson (AUS) claimed victory today at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), after defeating Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Final. A full day of competition witnessed intense action from the remaining competitors as they battled through 15 heats in six-to-seven foot (1.8 - 2 metre) surf at Teahupo’o, Tahiti.
Today’s win marks Wilson’s third CT victory and best result at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. His first place finish moves him up from 8th to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
“It has been a few years,” said Wilson. “It is so special to win. I am ecstatic and I have nothing left in me. I am just so happy and relieved to finally win an event again. It took so many good waves to win this event and I was lucky enough to get those. I felt like I was trending in the right direction. I’ve had a pretty steady start to the year and I am so happy to be in the mix now. With so many events left, I am really looking forward to it. I was already enjoying myself on tour and even more so now. I cannot wait for the rest of the year.”
Wilson is the seventh different event winner on the 2017 Championship Tour, a season already full of enough twists and turns to fill a mystery novel. His comeback win against Medina was another unexpected turn of events in a season chock full of cliffhangers.
Medina's runner up finish is his best result this season. The 2014 WSL Champion and event winner has struggled to excel past the Semifinals this year, but the Final appearance today proves that he is back in the game, heading into the second-half of the season. The Brazilian superstar will improve two places to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“I am stoked to make another Final against Julian (Wilson),” said Medina. “He has been surfing really well the whole event and I think it is a little harder on your backhand, so good job to him. I am stoked. It feels good to be back in the game and now I am thinking about Trestles. I am happy. It is Father’s Day in Brazil and my dad is here, so that was a good present.”
Next stop? The Hurley Pro and Swatch Women's Pro at Trestles. The heated WSL Title race will continue in San Clemente, California, as the world's best surfers will take on Lower Trestles from September 6 through September 17, 2017.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Results:
1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.96
2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.87
Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1:Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.90
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.26 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.33
Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.23 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.94
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 7.67
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.10
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.16 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 9.00
Photo © WSL / Poullenot