JOURNEYMAN Lennox Head surfer Anthony Walsh had one of the best wins of his career when he won the ASP three-star world tour event in Chile at the weekend.
Walsh, who now lives in Hawaii, continued his superb tube-riding skills into a hotly contested final held in perfect 1.5m-2m barrels at the reef break of El Gringo in Arica.
He scored an astonishing heat wave total of 19.45 (out of a possible 20), including a perfect 10-point ride, to defeat young Hawaiian surfer Eala Stewart, who scored an 18.35 on his two best rides.
"I'm super happy. It feels unbelievable," Walsh said yesterday.
"The waves were incredible and this was one of the best contests I've ever participated in.
"I'm definitely coming back next year, not just because of the waves, but to defend my title as well. You can count on it."
Walsh earned A$8000 prizemoney and 750 points towards his ASP world ranking.
To get to the final, Walsh eliminated Paulo Moura (Brazil) in the quarter-finals, 18.10 to 10.75, then advanced at the expense of Cristian Merello (Chile) in the semis, 17.10 to 5.75.
Stewart, 16, scored a perfect 10-point ride in the quarter-finals in addition to a 9.75 to score the event's highest heat total of 19.75.
"I'm so psyched with this result," he said.
"Just to be in the final of an event with this level of surfing, and only being 16, it's really incredible.
"Even more so against a surfer who is one of my idols in big waves."