“My number one goal this year was to win one of these World Championship Tour events,” Wilson said. “I won [the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach], which was pretty big but it wasn't a [World Championship Tour event] so there was definitely a space left in there for me to accomplish. To win here is just unbelievable.”
With the seconds ticking down on the final heat in Portugal, it looked like Medina was headed for victory. But Wilson picked up a multi-section barrel and scored an 8.43, which put him ahead with no time left on the clock. The scores were close, and both surfers returned to shore without knowing who won. In the end, Wilson edged out Medina, 16.26 to 15.37.
“I'm overwhelmed,” said the 23-year-old Australian. “I lost to Gabriel 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.”
The win moves Wilson from 12th to sixth in the ASP World Championship Tour standings. Joel Parkinson retains the lead over Kelly Slater, followed by Mick Fanning in the World Championship Tour standings.