Having stood out as one of the top performers in every round of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Brazilian Filipe Toledo's performance at Snapper Rocks culminated with the first Championship Tour (CT) event win of his career. Toledo took down stuntman Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Final with a near-perfect heat total of 19.60 out of 20.
The day started with the Quarterfinals, and after a slow start to the round, Julian Wilson (AUS) used his new-school skills to light up Snapper during Quarterfinal 2. Up against Tour vet Taj Burrow (AUS), Wilson took off on a bomb. He used a mix of floaters, cutbacks and fins-free hacks to earn a 9.77 on his opening ride. Burrow went for a layback hack on his answer but was unable to finish cleanly. Wilson backed up his first wave with a 7.67, earning his Semifinal spot with conviction.
Filipe Toledo (BRA), who came into the event ranked No. 17 in the world, continued to impress judges. He broke out his air game and technical rail work to put Bede Durbidge (AUS) on his heels early. Durbidge answered back with fierce, fins-free turns but Toledo upped the ante again, this time with two dramatic laybacks that scored him a near-perfect 9.67. It was enough for the lead and a win that would send him to a Semifinal matchup with Adriano de Souza (BRA).
Wilson struggled in the first Semifinal heat, falling behind Miguel Pupo (BRA) after the Brazilian locked in two big scores for an aggressive backhand approach. Undeterred, Wilson punted a no-grab, full-rotation air to get himself back in the heat with the crowd erupting on the beach. Needing a solid backup score, with less than a minute to go he found a wave and threw another air-reverse. Pupo carved up the last wave of the heat, but when the scores came in -- as both surfers anxiously waited on the beach -- it was Wilson who emerged triumphant, and headed to the Final.
Toledo, as expected, followed suit in the second Semifinal heat, taking to the air twice on his opening ride. But it was his fine-tuned "club sandwich" that took him into the nine-point range. It was obvious from there that the Final would be a battle of progression from two of the Tour's biggest pioneers.
Toledo drew first blood with a speedy drive down the line with a wrapping cutback and a powerful rotation finish, earning an excellent-range score. He locked in a solid backup for a dramatic layback and had Wilson comboed in the first 10 minutes. Wilson answered with an exaggerated blow-tail carve but faltered on the closeout, keeping his score low. His next attempt showcased his signature air reverse for a 9.10, but Toledo bettered his scoreline again with a 9.60, forcing Wilson to continue to search for an excellent-range score. But the Brazilian had more in the tank, boosting for a nose-pick rotation for a second nine-point ride and Perfect 10 to cap off a perfect run and the Quik Pro title.
Watch condensed cutdowns of each heat from the Quiksilver Pro, starting with the Final.