COOLUM'S Julian Wilson claimed his maiden ASP World Championship Tour victory last weekend, beating Brazilian Gabriel Medina in the dying seconds of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
In a re-match of the surfers' final bout from France last season, Medina and Wilson went blow-for-blow in the final in front of a capacity crowd at Supertubos.
While Medina favoured a more technical approach to the heat, executing a number of progressive manoeuvres, it was Wilson's barrel sense and combination ability that ultimately tipped the heat in the final moments.
"I'm overwhelmed," Wilson said. "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 23-year-old's final wave, a multi-section barrel followed by a number of turns, came in at an 8.43 and gave the Australian the edge with no time left on the clock.
Both surfers arrived at the shoreline without knowing who had won.
"I didn't feel that confident walking up the beach. Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) had my back but he wasn't 100% sure. Then they just read the score out and I was so happy," he said.
The win vaults Wilson from number 12 to number 6 on the ASP WCT rankings and sets him amongst the very best surfers in the world for the final leg of the 2012 season.
Medina, who had been in devastating form throughout the entire event, held a commanding lead for the bulk of the hard-fought final, but was unable to close the door on Wilson.
The Australian's final ride narrowly edged the 18-year-old out of collecting a third elite tour win.
Medina's second placing moves him from ninth to eighth on the ASP WCT rankings.
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz, California from November 1-11.