Tahitian powerhouse Michel Bourez defeated Australia’s Josh Kerr to win the world surfing tour’s Margaret River Pro.
Bourez downed Kerr 15.90 to 12.44 to clinch his first ASP WCT win after a slow start to the final held in one-metre waves in the world tour’s second stop on Sunday.
It capped a big day for Bourez, who knocked out American legend and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater in the semi-finals.
“It’s such a good feeling to win, it’s a dream come true. Making the final here and surfing against such an amazing person (Kerr) was wonderful,” said Bourez.
“It was such a tough heat out there because you don’t know what to expect from Kerr.
“The semi-final was like a final. Surfing against Kelly Slater was a tough one so I had to really push my level up.
“It’s a long year and there are still nine contests to go so I need to focus on the next one and relax. I can’t wait for Bells (Beach) now, I have always liked that wave.”
Last year’s Margaret River runner-up, Kerr admitted it was painful to lose the decider again.
“I just tried to relax going into the final,” he said.
“It was a rough heat but I wanted to put a show on for everyone. It hurt last year getting runner-up and it hurts even more this year.
“I made a few errors at the start of the heat by falling on the inside and I definitely didn’t choose the right waves.
“The heat came down to strategy and things didn’t got my way. It’s pretty annoying to make the final and surf really badly.
“I’m stoked with the result, though, the West has been good to me and I enjoy being here.
The next stop on the world tour is the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, which is scheduled to run from Wednesday until April 27.