Coolum surfer Julian Wilson has beaten some of his heroes to win the third edition of The O’Neill Mission off the French coast.
Using the unique judging formula of The Mission, Wilson was voted the winner by his fellow surfers, including Cory Lopez, Jarrad Howse and Michel Bourez.
“I’ve been looking up to these guys since I was young,” Wilson said. “I was just so excited to be invited to spend the week surfing with them.”
“I’m so blown away right now. It’s been such a good week.
“We have made the best out of all the conditions we faced in France.
Wilson was also voted the winner of the Amph Progression Award by his peers, winning 2,000 Euros for his relentless energy pushing the boundaries of tricks in the surf.
In a Mission-first, two surfers found themselves in equal second place. O’Neill Highland Open winner, Adam Robertson, as well as former WCT giant Cory Lopez shared the honors.
The award ceremony took place in the campsite in Les Landes, after the surfers had edited their highlights of the week and voted on every one else’s videos.
The O’Neill Mission 2008 ended its journey through France in Les Landes – travelling several hundred kilometers down the coast from Brittany after reports indicated that the south west of France was going to be picking up the best of the swell on Sunday.
The reports were right and the nine surfers scored an uncrowded secret spot of Les Landes in front of the sand dunes and pine trees, giving it their all on the final day.
Cory Lopez was among those who pushed himself in every possible way on the final morning.
“I have seen how well Julian has been surfing all week,” said Cory. “I just wanted to get in there and go for it if I was going to have a chance to win this. It was the best surf conditions we have had on The Mission so far, but I was so glad to also have got the chance to go up north and explore some of the coast I have never seen before.”
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