Tahiti's Michel Bourez claims first WCT win at Margaret River Drug Aware Pro
The Spartan bags his first WCT win against Josh Kerr.
Michel Bourez celebrates winning the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Photo: ASP / Kirstin Scholtz
A thrilling finals day in West Aus saw Michel Bourez crowned winner of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the Tahitian powerhouse securing his first ever WCT win by defeating Josh Kerr.
That's right, a new event, a new winner! In fact, neither Michel Bourez nor Josh Kerr had previously won an event or even surfed a man-on-man heat against each other. With Kerrzy winning his first ASP event at Margaret in 2010, the Aussie had posed an event favourite from the start and with wave conditions arguably suiting nobody's surfing style better than The Spartan's open-face railwork, the Tahitian was going to be no push-over. Waves were again a little slow, but the match-up made up for it!
“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 was wonderful," commented Michel post-heat. “It was such a tough heat out there because you don’t know what to expect from Kerr. The semis was like a final. Surfing against Kelly Slater was a tough one so I had to really push my level up. That 9.37 I got came out of nowhere. Kelly’s still the greatest surfer ever so to beat him was wonderful."
“I just tried to relax going into the Final," said Josh Kerr. “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 chose the right waves. The heat came down to strategy and things didn’t go my way."
Despite finding his full-form for the final day of competition, Kelly was defeated by event winner Bourez in the semis.
“I made a big tactical error. I was so far in the lead at the start of the heat and when a wave came and I had priority I took it against my instincts," said Kelly. “It meant that when the better wave came Michel got it. I didn’t underestimate Michel before the heat because I know this is a wave that really suits his style."
The Top 34 now head straight to Bells Beach for the next highly-coveted leg of the tour, Rip Curl Pro.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Final Results:
Final: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.90 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.44
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.10 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.87
Semifinal 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.14 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.90
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.30 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.00
Quarterfinal 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.70 vs. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.77
Quarterfinal 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.44
Quarterfinal 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.00 def. Nat Young (USA) 9.76