October 13, 2011

Gabriel Medina beats Julian Wilson in the Quiksilver Pro France

Seventeen-year-old Brazilian super-rookie Gabriel Medina beats Australian super-rookie Julian Wilson in the final of the Quik Pro in France, every surfer over 26 on the World Tour says “shit, I need to learn how to backside varial.”

If the aim of the complicated new world tour ranking system – with its midyear cutoffs and increased turnover – is to make events more exciting, then they’ve nailed it. Bobby Martinez might not be happy, but judging by the performance in today’s Quiksilver Pro final, it’s safe to say the future is here.

Gabriel Medina won the contest, taking down two journeymen surfers more than twice his age (Kelly Slater and Taylor Knox) on his way to the final. The first time I saw this kid surf – at Bells in 2010 – there was no secret he’d be big. But this big? The kid throws down a minimum of two airs every wave, and his make-rate is nothing short of startling.

Two years ago, he was surfing the grommet event here in France. Today, he was surfing against Julian Wilson (who dispatched a few heavyhitters himself, beating Taj Burrow and Jordy Smith on his own road to the final).

The final was pretty slow, but when the waves came, the boys did not hold back. Check out Wilson’s casual backside varial halfway through the heat. If he’s stuck the second air he threw on that wave – he woulda been the champ.

As it was,  Medina, in only his second event as an ASP Top 34 member, snuck it from him with his own trademark airs.

The tour now heads to Portugal, where the Rip Curl Pro starts in two days, then to San Francisco for the Search Event. We’ll increase our surf coverage as the season gets down to the wire, and see if we can’t sneak a few exclusives your way.

1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.00
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.10

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

QF 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.17 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.50
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.66 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.60
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.26 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.77
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 3.54

ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 5 (After Completion of Quiksilver Pro France):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,150 pts
2. Owen Wright (AUS) 43,900 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 35,900 pts
4. Taj Burrow (AUS) 34,450 pts
5. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 34,000 pts

by POP Magazine