"I'm really happy to get the win!" Wilson said of his 18.93 to 16.70 victory over Smith. "It's my third time in Durban and I've gotten a good result each time. I really enjoy spending time here, it's a great place with friendly people where I feel warm and comfortable. It definitely helps with my results."
While Smith assumed an early lead to put Wilson in a combination situation (needing a combination of two scores) with his 7.67 and 8.83 (out of ten) scores, it was Wilson's high-risk approach that was rewarded.
Smith had a dream run through to the final with flawless performances and perfect scores as he defeated Aritz Aranburu (EUK) in the Quarterfinals and Stu Kennedy (AUS) in the semi finals.
Unfortunately for Smith it was not the dream finish he'd hoped for, nonetheless pocketing R207 500 (US$20 000) and assuming the World No. 2 position.
"It was an honour to surf in the final against Julian, I'm just sorry I didn't win it," Smith said. "Julian stuck that air and it was amazing. I went on a trip to Reunion with him and he tried it a million times and didn't make it and then he goes into the final and sticks it first time!"
The Mr Price Pro Ballito enjoyed six days of action packed world-class surfing as Willard's Beach delivered great waves and capacity crowds.
The action continues tonight with the Free Music Concerts on the Beach at Salt Rock and more exciting Festival activities at the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival tomorrow.