Gabriel Medina: watch this kid

Gabriel Medina has taken out the Quiksilver Pro France 2011, in high-performance three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at La Graviere. The Brazilian surfer defeated Julian Wilson to win his inaugural ASP World Tour stage.

Medina, in only second event as an ASP Top 34 member, cut a swathe through the world’s best surfers, securing three of the top five highest single-wave scores of the event en route to his emotional win. Watch the final highlights, here.

“This is the best feeling ever,” Medina said. “I beat some great guys on the way to Final and I’m very stoked now. I want to thank all my friends and family and god for their support. It has been an amazing week for me. Just two years ago, I was here competing in the King of the Groms and I won that event and now I’m here in the main event and I’ve won it. It doesn’t seem real.”

Opening their final clash with a strong 7.83 for a full-rotation forehand aerial, Medina was put on the back foot by an in-form Wilson until the dying moments, when the young Brazilian blasted several high-risk maneuvers on a lengthy lefthander to secure a 9.17 and regain the lead.

“The start of the heat was slow and it was going high tide so it was a challenge,” Medina said. “It was a fun heat. It was a hard hat as well. Julian (Wilson) is an incredible surfer and I know he wanted to win very badly. I knew I needed a big score on that final wave and I had to throw everything I had to get it. I’m very happy right now.”

Wilson built momentum throughout the final day of competition, dispatching of the tour’s heavy hitters and posting some impressive scores. The young Australian’s Runner-Up finish today marks a career best and is indicative of his recent run of improvements amongst the world’s elite (5th and the 3rd previously).

“Everything feels good and I’m very happy to be here on the podium,” Wilson said. “It’s been a great event for me and congrats to Gabriel (Medina) for his incredible run here in France. I have so many amazing memories of watching this event as a kid, seeing Andy (Irons) and Kelly (Slater) go for it and to be in it now is a very special feeling. I’m hoping to improve in the coming events and looking forward to Portugal.”

With the dust settled in the south of France, it has been determined that the 2011 ASP World Title cannot be decided at the next event in Portugal and will go to at least San Francisco.

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.00
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.10

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.57 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 7.00
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.55