Tahitian surfer Michel Bourez clinched his first World Championship Tour victory with a win over Australian aerial specialist Josh Kerr in the Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River yesterday.
Bourez downed Kerr 15.90 to 12.44 after a slow start to the final held in one-metre waves.
It capped a big day for Bourez, who earlier knocked out 11-times world champion Kelly Slater in the semifinals.
"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," Bourez said.
"It was such a tough heat out there because you don't know what to expect from Kerr.
"The semifinal 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.
"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," he said.
"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 go 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."
Slater, who scraped past Australian Joel Parkinson in an epic quarterfinal, said a tactical error had cost him the semifinal.
"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," he said.
"It meant that when the better wave came Michel (Bourez) got it.
"I didn't underestimate Michel before the heat because I know this is a wave that really suits his style."
The next stop on the world tour is the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, which is scheduled to run from Wednesday until April 27.
Australian Associated Press