A Sequence Of Note…

A Sequence Of Note…

This is Deivid Silva. He’s just won the Quiksilver Pro Casablanca with a 9.13 and a 9.33 which he surfed back to back. This is from the 9.33 and I’m sure you’ll agree is the kind of turn that doesn’t come along that often. The brutality of it was something to be seen, indeed it’s still raining in Casablanca because of it. Dave pipped Nelson Cloarec in the final (pictured below getting selfied to death by the frothing crowd) and looks like a good bet for the big league tour next season. With man hacks like this I think he’ll fit right in!
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Maroc Blog: Day 3

Maroc Blog: Day 3

Another day in Morocco. Another relaxed call for the Quiksilver/Roxy Pro Casablanca comp at 9:30. Another epic breakfast of omelette pancake slash crumpet things and strong as hell coffee.
Today the Brit crew got to surf again (I missed Lucy Campbell and Peony Knight going through their round one heats as was sat in Heathrow when that was happening) and it was a game of two halves.
During the heat before our slice of Casablanca beachy was looking fun as hell, the higher tide had shifted things on to a super fun, running left which was smashable as hell. Of course come the Brit girls heat things went weird and wobbly and backy offy.
Short version: after a slow start Peony got two long belters and won the heat. Lucy picked some likely looking lumps of Atlantic that then proceeded to shrug and do the backing off thing and ended up getting knocked out. Such is the way of contests.
Plus side is Peony is now in to the woman v woman quarters tomorrom where she’ll take on Kiwi Ella Williams. Which is cool.
Justine Dupont and Pauline Ado are still in the mix and looking lethal. Whoever finishes in front takes the European QS title so it’s game on…
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Anfaplace Shopping Center, Casablanca – Morocco (Friday, September 16, 2016) – The Quiksilver Pro Casablanca and Roxy Pro Casablanca continued to give local surfers and crowds a great show as competition resumed in clean two-to-three foot surf at Anfaplace Shopping Center.

Ian Gouveia (BRA), 23, steamrolled through the competition, launching the day’s proceedings with an impeccable performance to move into Round Four.

Keoni Yan (HAW), 21, had a good battle with local star Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 23, and narrowly defeated the Moroccan, both surfers making their way into the second-to-last day of  competition in Casablanca.

“I was lucky to get those good little waves, they stood up for me and I had fun in that heat,” he said. “All our crew is staying here with Jerome Sahyoun, he’s a local legend and has been very welcoming and giving us a few tips so I’m really thankful. I love it here in Morocco, everything’s so different.”

Boukhiam had previously clinched the single best score of the heat but had a hard time backing it up and was in a dangerous position up until the final moments of the heat. His opponents’ efforts proved insufficient as well, keeping the local favorite’s campaign alive on home soil.

“I found it really tough out there, I think we were at that in-between moment of the tide and it didn’t make things easy for us,” he reflected. “But I’m happy I managed to hang on to second place and the most important is to get through. This morning was quiet as we started early but I’m looking forward to surfing on the weekend, it should be epic!”

In a tense Round Three bout, event number one seed Deivid Silva (BRA), 21, was extremely picky when it came to wave selection and was sitting in last position when he finally started on his third wave with only seconds on the clock. The Brazilian locked in several good carves and exploited the little left all the way into the beach for a 7.87 buzzer-beater to take the win.

“It was absolutely crazy to wait for the last twenty seconds to catch that last wave,” he admitted. “That wave was super nice and I’m stoked to get that win. I’m super happy to be visiting Morocco for the first time.”

Heat 5 was the most decisive matchup in terms of the 2016 regional title race as Jorgann Couzinet (REU), 22, and reigning European Champion Pedro Henrique (PRT), 34, took it the water to try and keep their title hopes alive. Couzinet continued his winning streak as Henrique’s race was put to rest in Casablanca.

With Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF), 21, unable to advance past the third round of competition here, the African regional rankings are now final with Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), 23, and Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF), 25, taking home the 2016 WSL African Champion Titles.

The women’s quarterfinalists were decided as well today, with Pauline Ado (FRA), 25, leading the show in the opening Round Two matchup. Ado, by advancing into the quarters, has now tied with compatriot Justine Dupont (FRA), 25, in the European title race, meaning either surfer that finishes ahead of the other in this event will claim the coveted regional crown.

“Justine and I both want to win, here in this event and the European title, and our main goal is to re-qualify as well, so I’ll just take it one heat at a time and see what happens,” she explained. “Each heat is going to be tougher and tougher now cause we’re getting into the man-on-man heats with all the girls that have been ripping this week. It looks like we’re getting more swell on the weekend so I look forward to the final stretch in good conditions.”

Dupont went on to confirm her excellent form and advanced into the quarters, keeping all the title possibilities pending until the event resumes Saturday.

Ainara Aymat (EUK), 19, had the tough task to surf the day’s final heat at a tricky high tide and managed to find an excellent little runner of a left-hander to lock in multiple turns for the heat’s highest single ride of 6.83 and her ticket to the quarters.

“I was really nervous to surf these conditions so I’m super happy to win,” she said. “Outside, the rip takes you off the peak but as you start to come in closer to the shore the wave gets really fun. I haven’t made past the quarters yet so I’m going to try to relax and hopefully make one more!”

Event officials will once again reconvene at 9:30AM Saturday to assess conditions and plan the last couple of days at the Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca.

MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for “Saturday offers a good chance of offshore conditions, particularly in the morning, although the overnight wind and slightly lower swell period will mean a mix of waves the better sets should be pushing head high and building in the afternoon as a new swell starts to fill in under the more local swell.” for Saturday.

The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca are scheduled from September 13-18, 2016 at ANFAPLACE Shopping Center, Casablanca – Morocco. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca are supported by Anfaplace Shopping Center, Quiksilver and Roxy, the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Surf, the Office National Marocain du Tourisme, the Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports, Red Bull and MagicSeaweed among others.

Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA), Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), Keoni Yan (PYF), Rafael Teixeira (BRA)
Heat 2: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Caetano Vargas (BRA), Deivid Silva (BRA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Heat 3: Jorgann Couzinet (REU), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 4: Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Bino Lopes (BRA), Miguel Tudela (PER), Ian Costa (BRA)

QF 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Freya Prumm (AUS)
QF 2: Ella Williams (NZL) vs. Peony Knight (GBR)
QF 3: Justine Dupont (FRA) vs. Carol Henrique (PRT)
QF 4: Melanie Giunta (PER) vs. Ainara Aymat (EUK)

Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.60, Caetano Vargas (BRA) 13.36, Victor Bernardo (BRA) 11.13, Lucca Mesinas (PER) 8.43
Heat 2: Keoni Yan (PYF) 12.73, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.07, Samuel Igo De Souza (BRA) 11.20, Imanol Yeregi (EUK) 8.60
Heat 3: Lucas Silveira (BRA) 12.93, Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 12.77, Lliam Mortensen (AUS) 11.97, Frederico Magalhaes (PRT) 7.53
Heat 4: Deivid Silva (BRA) 15.37, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 14.27, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 14.06, Jackson Baker (AUS) 13.93
Heat 5: Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 16.60, Bino Lopes (BRA) 15.84, Marco Giorgi (URY) 11.03, Pedro Henrique (PRT) 8.76
Heat 6: Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 12.20, Ian Costa (BRA) 10.90, Raphael Seixas (BRA) 8.90, Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) 7.17
Heat 7: Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 12.37, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 12.30, Julen Egiguren (EUK) 11.47, Halley Batista (BRA) 7.60
Heat 8: Miguel Tudela (PER) 13.90, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.64, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 8.80, Jackson Giles (AUS) 8.67




Some things I’ve learnt about Morocco in the last day (what with me being a first timer and all).

It’s hot. But it’s a nice hot. Not too sweaty. But that’ll sun will fry a pasty Brit if given half a chance. The locals don’t feel the heat and rock jeans like it’s no biggy where I’m going with the shortest shorts I own for some welcome breeze.

It’s not as cheap as I’d assumed. Well. Casablanca where I am isn’t at least. A Bucks will set you back more than at home and a small beer from a hotel came in at £6. Ouchy. So I’m going with the local flow and going teetotal for the rest of the trip. Which is just as well …

As the food is incredible. The comp crew, WSL judges and muggins here are eating dinner in a restaurant next to the hotel (Le Lido, which also does a mean breakfast buffet, especially the pancake slash crumpet things served with a dollop of thick honey) and it’s a buffet to end all buffets.

Numerous tempting salad things but I skipped those and the soup to head straight into the meatballs, myriad veg, meats and various other damn tasty fare. The puds are also awesome. I’d hoped to come back from this trip a bit trim. That ain’t going to happen. No sir.

Comp wise the guys are up to Rd3 and the girls Rd2 featuring our Peony Knight and Lucy Campbell is on tomoz. The swell is a bit big for the beachy, making the paddle harsh, but there’s some beltable sections and if you get the right one it’ll be a long whackable wall. There’s a few highlights from today above. Only bugger is as it’s big it breaks a long way out. Which makes shooting a balls. The swell is slowly waning so might be a bit more better for stills tomoz. Anyhoose. I’m off to work on my foot tan.

Words and clip by Sharpy



Anfaplace Shopping Center, Casablanca – Morocco (Thursday, September 15, 2016) –The Quiksilver Pro Casablanca and Roxy Pro Casablanca resumed today in clean four-to-five foot surf at Anfaplace Shopping Center to whittle the fields down further and gear towards an action-packed weekend of high-performance surfing in Morocco.

The women’s field was dominated by recent winner of the Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SumolJustine Dupont (FRA), 25, who claimed a near-perfect 9.50 for a two-turn combination on a good left-hander. The French surfer kept the ball rolling and her motivation running high from the thrills of a second victory this season.

“I didn’t have priority for that wave and stayed a little bit on the inside, it just stood up perfectly for me and I managed to do two good turns; I love it when it gets a little steeper like that,” she reflected. “I’m simply having a lot of fun competing at the moment and it seems to be working well, I’m confident in my surfing and I learn a little bit from each heat. I’m in touch with my coach Christophe Mouginot all the time and he continues to help me with all the work we’ve done up until now. I also have my family, my boyfriend and everyone around me just supporting me which makes me very happy. Countless work hours with my physical and technical trainer Nicolas Fernandez and the brilliant boards Rob Vaughan shapes me help a lot too!”

In the men’s, Reunion Island’s Jorgann Couzinet (REU), 22, secured the day’s top performance to make his way into the event’s third round and continue his bid to become the newest European Champion. With the current regional Top2 surfers absent in Morocco, Couzinet will look to collect a strong finish for a chance to overtake Jonathan Gonzalez and Joan Duru.

“I hadn’t had a really good feeling in my free surfs before today, but thankfully I managed to turn this around and make a good first heat so I’m happy with this performance,” he said. “I want to solidify my rankings and hopefully enter the Hawaiian leg this winter so I’m focused on trying to get more points here. It’s only the first heat for me so I’m not getting too excited either but hopefully I can make a couple more heats.”

Current QS N°10 Bino Lopes (BRA), 28, was another strong competitor on this third day of competition as the Brazilian is looking to rebuild momentum towards the end of the Qualifying Series season.

“I’m pretty happy to be here for my first time in Morocco, I’m traveling with my family, my father, mother and sister have come to support me on this European leg and it’s a great vibe surrounding me,” he stated. “Conditions were really fun, we all got a lot of opportunities which was great so I’m stoked to get going and hope to make a few more heats like this one. The last three events haven’t been great for me but I know I’m solid in the rankings and my goal is to get a spot on the CT so this would be a good event to get motivated again before Cascais.”

Reigning European Junior Champion Nelson Cloarec (FRA), 20, dominated his Round Two bout as well and advanced alongside Uruguay’s Marco Giorgi, unfortunately eliminating older brother Tom Cloarec in the process.

“With that lighter wind and still a little bit of size I found the waves really good this morning, it was a difficult heat as Tom and I had two tough competitors to try and both make it through,” he said. “I was probably a bit luckier and got more waves, we were all sitting close by but it’s a matter of only a few meters to get in the right position so luck is definitely involved. When one of us is out we always support each other for the rest of the event, Tom is a great coach and I’m sure he’ll help a lot for my next heats.”

Other notable performances included South-African Matthew McGillivray’s solid 16.43 total for his ticket to Round Three.

Event officials have set the next call for 9:30AM Friday to potentially re-start both the men and women’s events depending on conditions.

MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for “Swell continues to fade but a more local wind swell could fill in on top. This’ll maintain that head high or perhaps larger range but with a lot less structure. Local winds continue to look predominantly onshore.” for Friday.

The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca are scheduled from September 13-18, 2016 at ANFAPLACE Shopping Center, Casablanca – Morocco. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca are supported by Anfaplace Shopping Center, Quiksilver and Roxy, the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Surf, the Office National Marocain du Tourisme, the Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports, Red Bull and MagicSeaweed among others.

Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA), Caetano Vargas (BRA), Victor Bernardo (BRA), Lucca Mesinas (PER)
Heat 2: Imanol Yeregi (EUK), Samuel Igo De Souza (BRA), Keoni Yan (PYF), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Heat 3: Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Lliam Mortensen (AUS), Frederico Magalhaes (PRT)
Heat 4: Miguel Blanco (PRT), Jackson Baker (AUS), Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: Bino Lopes (BRA), Jorgann Couzinet (REU), Pedro Henrique (PRT), Marco Giorgi (URY)
Heat 6: Ian Costa (BRA), Raphael Seixas (BRA), Vehiatua Prunier (PYF), Nelson Cloarec (FRA)
Heat 7: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Halley Batista (BRA), Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Julen Egiguren (EUK)
Heat 8: Jackson Giles (AUS), Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF), Miguel Tudela (PER), Jesse Mendes (BRA)

Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA), Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK), Bailey Nagy (HAW), Ella Williams (NZL)
Heat 2: Lucy Campbell (GBR), Peony Knight (GBR), Freya Prumm (AUS), Lucia Martiño (ESP)
Heat 3: Justine Dupont (FRA), Ashlee Spence (AUS), Melanie Giunta (PER), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 4: Carol Henrique (PRT), Ainara Aymat (EUK), Tessa Thyssen (BLM), Camilla Kemp (PRT)

Heat 9: Bino Lopes (BRA) 14.20, Ian Costa (BRA) 11.34, Charly Quivront (FRA) 11.23, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 10.30
Heat 10: Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 16.67, Raphael Seixas (BRA) 11.16, Yago Dora (BRA) 8.60, Chadi Lahrioui (MAR) 6.74
Heat 11: Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) 12.67, Pedro Henrique (PRT) 12.24, Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) 10.40, Bruno De Andrade Maia (BRA) 5.70
Heat 12: Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 14.40, Marco Giorgi (URY) 13.83, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 8.40, Nicolas Vargas (CHL) 8.16
Heat 13: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 16.43, Jackson Giles (AUS) 14.77, Manuel Selman (CHL) 9.27, Tommy Boucaut (FRA) 8.24
Heat 14: Halley Batista (BRA) 10.23, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 10.07, Yuri Goncalves (BRA) 9.84, Adil El Harrif (MAR) 6.90
Heat 15: Miguel Tudela (PER) 12.74, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 11.93, Oney Anwar (IDN) 5.50, Jao Errera (FRA) 4.46
Heat 16: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.60, Julen Egiguren (EUK) 9.76, Gabriel Farias (BRA) 9.33 Shane Sykes (ZAF) 8.53

Heat 5: Justine Dupont (FRA) 16.67, Ainara Aymat (EUK) 8.10, Lorena Fica (CHL) 7.27
Heat 6: Melanie Giunta (PER) 9.97, Camilla Kemp (PRT) 9.67, Mariana Assis (PRT) 9.03, Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 7.96
Heat 7: Carol Henrique (PRT) 12.27, Ashlee Spence (AUS) 10.07, Denver Young (AUS) 4.83, Ninon Mattei (FRA) 2.57
Heat 8: Tessa Thyssen (BLM) 15.50, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 13.00, Emma Smith (ZAF) 5.70




It may seem weird but I’ve never been to Morocco.
Yep. You read that right.
Much as it’s a key part of European surf travel lore and the first trip many British surfers take to another continent I’ve just not got round to it. Had a few false start trips that never amounted to anything but that’s as close as I’ve got.
Never been to South Africa either, but that’s more because of the bitey fish. I’ve done the Algarve loads and a good few stints in the Canaries, so I’ve been ball park close to Africa. Just never balls deep.

Today I’m breaking that duck and finally en route to the land of endless pointbreaks, minty tea and rugs you never knew you needed.
‘Bit early in the season innit?’ I hear you cry.
Well. Mid-September. Who knows with the Atlantic anymore. Old certainties are certainly out the window.
Driving to Heathrow the temp was 32.5C. Which ironically was hotter than my destination. And the hottest September day in Blighty since the war.
Swell wise plenty is on tap for the week, which is just as well as my trip was a junket from the nice people at the Maroc Surf Federation and Anfaplace Shopping Centre in Casablanca who are, for the second year, putting on Morocco’s only stop on the world tour; alongside them nice folk at Quiksilver for the Pro Casablanca.
The fact Brits Peony Knight and Lucy Campbell would be competing is what swung it for me, as you’ll know the QS grind doesn’t demand much media attention, but with some Brit ladies making rounds it seemed a good time to do some reportage (not just go on a jolly for a week of sunshine huh? Ed) and catch up with two of our brightest stars before they disappear for the winter to warmer climes…

Heathrow Terminal 4 is offensively bland. It’s not got the glamour of the shiny new T5 or the shabby, constantly being renovated retro chic of terminals one through three. It’s the beige middle child. Or more accurately the brushed aluminium and exposed pipework shopping mall slash airport child.
But it does it’s job, the bar has given in and now sells interesting beers, Sam Adams and Punk IPA if you’re wondering, and was thankfully quiet.
A few hours and one tray of strange Royal Air Maroc chicken chunks and just peas, nowt else, later I landed in Casablanca. The legendary city which, as a Twitter friend thought, isn’t just a film.

Passport control anywhere in the world is never a barrel of laughs. What’s really not fun is when your plane is neary an hour late anyway, you’re knackered and you queue for 45 minutes to get to the man and he asks you for your form.
‘What form?’
‘What form? No one said anything about a form?’
‘Form!’ said with a stern face and pointy gesticulations to the back of the room.
Which is when your heart sinks and you wish the airline folk had actually mentioned you needed a landing card. I’d checked the entry and all I’d seen was Brits get visa free easy entry.
So. Off I trot. Of course there are no pens. So I gingerly asked for one in one of the side rooms where they interrogate folks. Pen acquired it managed ’Sha…’ before going to pen heaven.
So again. ‘Soz, stern customs man, your undoubtedly marvellous pen is a bit not working. Can I have another. Merci.’
Then I’m queuing again. Forever. All the while imagining the folks supposedly picking me up have given me up as a lost cause.
Not that I could communicate as my £20 phone credit vapourised the second I turned the thing on even with data for everything but email turned off (£6 per MB, 35p per text if you’re wondering?!). So I couldn’t call or text and was hours late. Awesome start.

I finally got through passport control, before getting searched and accused of being a professional photographer. ‘What little old me with ten grand of camera shite in my backpack? No sir. Not I. I’m just on me holibobs innit.’

Having finally escaped the confines of the airport all I wanted to see was a little laminated sign being held with an approximation of my name on it.
There wasn’t.
Forty minutes of fruitless wandering, even with a copy of Carve coyly wafting from a paw, rendered nothing.
The internal thought process was something along the lines of:
‘It’s 11:30pm, I’m in a fascinating new country, it’s raining, I’ve no idea how far the hotel is, no bugger’s come to pick me up, the passport folks really need to work on their signage, their attitude, and perhaps buy some pens, and screw this … screw this all to hell.’
I might have even booted my luggage petulantly. Thrice.
But this is travel. It’s hardly the first time I’ve gone to a different continent with promises of being picked up and been abandoned. This certainly wasn’t as bad as the time I landed in Hawaii late eve to get a, ’Sorry, we forgot, we’re partying now so no one is a in a fit state to drive to get you.’ And had to sleep on a wooden bench for the night with one eye on my camera bags and one eye on the hobos. That one got the folks involved on my shit list indefinitely.

So when all hope is lost you do the one thing you dread and you resign yourself to talk to the taxi men. I couldn’t even by arsed to haggle. They quoted £40. I knew the hotel wasn’t exactly close and feared the hotel might be shut by the time I arrived so just slumped in the back dejectedly and watched through one eye as my driver skilfully warped time and space to fit his car through holes physically not big enough for a people carrier.
Driving standards here are, let’s say, “informal” or “relaxed”. Those white lines on the roads are more guidelines than anything else and driving in anything appearing to be a straight line is apparently frowned upon. Getting your car as close to the others is a sign of good driving. Horn usage and light flashing is most important. Especially when you’re a psychic taxi driver that gets flashing when the lights are still red to let the car in front know that green light is oh-so-imminent. But. All credit to him, my guy was fast, F1 fast. Which was a blessing. He also seemed REALLY happy with his 400 dihrams so I’m guessing I got porked. But. At midnight. Who cares. I’m all for injecting funds into local economies.

The hotel thankfully was open and the crew here are awesome. I slept like a lamb. Even though I couldn’t get the question out of my head: why put the bidet in a different room to the actual toilet?
It’s now day 2. A fine breakfast has been consumed. I’ve high-fived Peony and bro Taz Knight, who are thankfully staying at Le Lido hotel same as me and the comp site is a few hundred metres down the beach. The surf’s solid, heavy and not inviting but apparently it’s way better at high tide which is lunchtime.
So. I’m going to have a post brekkie snooze. Got to sleep off the omelette and crumpet slash pancakes…

PS: An email did get sent when I was flying to look for a certain transport company on arrival. But obvs didn’t get it due to no free airport wifi ever working and phone mobile credit inferno. 

Words by Sharpy

Hurley & Swatch Pros reach the sharp end…

Hurley & Swatch Pros reach the sharp end…

Nikki Van Dijk winning Quarter Final Heat 3 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.

The Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles, Stops No. 8 and 7 respectively on the World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT), continued today with the men’s and women’s Semifinalists decided in three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Lower Trestles. The stage is set for an exciting final day of competition with the field narrowed to just four men and four women.
Filipe Toledo surfing during Heat 2 of The Quarterfinals at The Hurley Pro Trestles
Filipe Toledo (BRA) and 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) put on a show for the crowd at Lowers with an exciting head-to-head battle. Slater gained control of the heat with a strong 7.33, but Toledo took to the air to earn a near-perfect 9.17. Slater fought back with an excellent 8.27 to maintain his lead, but the Brazilian exhibited his strong rail-game and signature air reverse to earn another excellent 9.20 to not only take the lead, but also put Slater in a combination situation. Toledo will advance to the Semifinals, while Slater leaves his 16th CT Trestles event in 5th place.

“Since I was born, since I’ve known surfing, there’s been Kelly [Slater] and he’s the most incredible surfer in this world, so it’s always good to beat him and surf against him,” said Toledo. “I had to go big because he’s in a good rhythm right now. He won Tahiti and he’s been surfing amazing here. It’s such a blessing to surf against Kelly and beat him. The waves are fun, my boards are looking good so let’s hope I can get a bigger wave in the Semifinals and Finals — definitely go for the 10 or high 9, we will see.”

“I blew it with wave choice and Filipe [Toledo] capitalized and made the right choice,” Slater said. “You really can’t give an inch out here, especially when it’s small like this. When it’s small, he’s way faster than everybody, and he’s the most dangerous guy. I had the chance, I had him on the ropes with the advantage halfway through and then I took the first wave of the set and he ended up getting that 9.20. I heard the crowd and was thinking I didn’t really do anything and realized he was on the wave behind me, but that’s just the way it goes.”

Before his Quarterfinal loss, Slater took down hometown hero Kolohe Andino (USA) in a nail-biting Round 5 Heat 2 match-up. Andino opened up with a an excellent 8.00, using his backhand attack that had Slater needing a high score right out of the gates. Slater fired right back with an incredible 8.60 on his forehand and went right back to work, earning a 4.17, though needing a 4.57. Andino then found another Lowers lefthand gem, where he got hung up by a big reverse, but still managed to finish the wave for a 5.33. The local favorite was not able to close the 0.36-point gap and was ultimately eliminated from the event.
Jordy Smith surfing during Heat 1 of The Quarterfinals at The Hurely Pro Trestles
Jordy Smith (ZAF) ended event wildcard Brett Simpson’s (USA) incredible run at the Hurley Pro with a 14.87 combined heat score by unleashing a series of progressive maneuvers in the first Quarterfinal heat. The local favorite fought back with two mid-range scores, but needed a near-perfect 9.37 for a comeback. Simpson struggled to find the required score and halted his wildcard run with a 5th place finish.

“Brett [Simpson] is an incredible surfer and he’s got nothing to lose,” Smith said. “I think he’s got a lot of confidence. He’s taken out some big dogs along the way and he’s just been in rhythm. I was feeling pretty nervous throughout the whole day, but I just kept focusing on what I had going. Each heat I make obviously narrows that gap, but the Top 3 guys have a huge lead and I just want to get as many good results as I can. Both Filipe [Toledo] and Kelly [Slater] are leaders in our sport in their own way so I think it’ll be a great match-up for me and an opportunity to give my best surfing.”

En route to Simpson’s Quarterfinal berth, the opening heat of Round 5 witnessed a close exchange between Simpson and Michel Bourez (PYF). Simpson captured an early lead with a 7.00, but was followed by Bourez’s 7.83. Simpson fired back with a massive blow-tail layback to earn an excellent 8.00 and leave Bourez needing a big backup score that he was not able to secure.
Tanner Guduaskas surfing during Heat 3 of The Quarterfinals at The Hurley Pro Trestles
Event wildcard Tanner Gudauskas (USA) charged through the third Quarterfinal match-up to take the win against Stuart Kennedy (AUS). Gudauskas wreaked havoc once more on the Lowers’ righthanders with his incredible backhand flair. The hometown hero will face 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) in the Semifinals.

“This moment feels amazing and I’m just trying to absorb everything from it,” Gudauskas said. “For this week though I just feel like every heat I surf is my only opportunity that I’ll get. I’ll be back to the QS after this and will really earn it to get back on Tour. Falling off Tour when I did, and the way I did, sent me on a journey and I feel like it’s taken me awhile to get my steam back. It feels so good to feel vindicated and just get it off my shoulders and feel like I deserve to be here.”
Joel Parkinson during the quarterfinals.
Parkinson advanced to the Semifinals today after taking out 2016 WSL Rookie Alex Ribeiro (BRA), the last rookie left in the draw. Ribeiro got an early lead with a 7.50, but Parkinson found his rhythm with an excellent 8.27 and a 6.50. Ribeiro attempted to land a handful of highly-technical moves, but fell 2.37 points short of the win.
Tyler Wright winning Quarter Final Heat 2 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.
Current Jeep Rankings Leader Tyler Wright (AUS) will continue her hunt to keep the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey after eliminating compatriot Laura Enever (AUS) and advancing to the Semifinals. Wright unleashed big power carves to earn a 13.50 combined heat score and put Enever in a devastating situation, needing a 9.00 in the final minutes with limited opportunities on offer.

“I’ve been in a few title races before, and looking back I’ve never felt this comfortable or this confident,” Wright said. “It’s definitely different for me this year and I’m just going with it. I’m not setting out a certain way that I should feel about things, this is just the way I’m feeling and I’m going out to do my job — and that’s to win every heat and every final. It’s been that from the start of the year and it’ll be that to the end.”

Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) battled Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning three-time WSL Champion and defending event winner, in the second Women’s Quarterfinal match-up of the day. The heat witnessed Gilmore fire with two back-to-back 8-point rides, putting Moore in a combination situation. With time running out, Moore was unable to break Gilmore’s massive 16.10 total. This heat marked the twenty-seventh match-up between the two World Champions, with Gilmore taking her thirteenth win over Moore.

“I was actually really nervous going into that because I haven’t gotten past the Quarterfinals in a while and I haven’t won an event in a while,” said Gilmore. “I just tried to go out there and do what I know how to do. I think Carissa [Moore] and I have had the strongest rivalry between us more than any other girls on Tour and it always feels really good to beat her. I’m just excited to get past that Quarterfinal monkey on my back. Obviously to see Courtney [Conlogue] go out was good for Tyler [Wright], but we’re all here for one thing, and I want to win.”

Caption: Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) blazed through Round 4 and the Quarterfinals to defeat current World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue (USA) and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), respectively. Gilmore will advance to the Semifinals where she will face Nikki Van Dijk (AUS).
Image: © WSL / Rowland

Moore will leave this event with an Equal 5th place finish and 5,200 points.

“I know any time you come up against Stephanie [Gilmore] you have to bring something special,” said Moore. “I was really excited to get going and I think I just made some bad wave choices, and got in a bad rhythm. There just wasn’t much so I just wish I had more opportunity to really open up but I’m okay, Steph’s surfing really great and I hope she wins this event. I’m looking forward to Portugal and France. Who knows what’s going to happen. I think it’ll be pretty tough to come back from this loss, but I’m just stoked to try and finish off the year strong.”
Stephanie Gilmore surfing during Heat 4 of The Quarterfinals at The Swatch Pro Trestles
Gilmore previously dispatched current World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue (USA) in an all-star Round 4 match-up. Conlogue opened her account with a strong 6.67 and a 6.23, putting Gilmore in an early combination. But, Gilmore fought back with a solid 7.43. Halfway through the heat, Conlogue used her priority on a set out the back to earn a 5.73, but it was not enough to improve her situation. Just needing a 5.47, the Australian took advantage of a clean wave to lock in a critical 7.23 and gain control of the heat. With four minutes left on the clock, Conlogue attempted to battle back to obtain the required 7.99, but was not able to find the score. Conlogue will walk away from the Swatch Women’s Pro with a 9th place finish, her worst result this season.

“Coming up against Stephanie [Gilmore], she’s won this event a few times and is the six-time World Champ, there’s definitely a lot of expectation to surf on point,” said Conlogue. “But, it felt like I gave it my all out there and felt like that left was really good, and my right as well. Things didn’t go my way that time and some things are out of your control.This definitely wasn’t my event and it’s frustrating, but I just have to get ready for Portugal now and the rest of the year.”
Sage Erickson winning Quarter Final Heat 1 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.
California-native Sage Erickson (USA) was the first surfer to earn her place in the Semifinals after defeating Johanne Defay (FRA) in the opening Quarterfinal heat of the day. Defay will walk away with an Equal 5th place, her fifth Top 5 result this season. Erickson will advance to the next round, where she will surf against Wright.

“It was a tit-for-tat heat with Johanne [Defay] and I’m so excited to be out of the Quarters and into the Semis,” Erickson said. “I think winning definitely feels good. You can lose a lot in this sport. Winning over in Spain, where it was a highly rated contest and there were a lot of tour girls over there, gives me a little bit of confidence, but this tour is a whole other ballpark. You really have to surf well to get scores and I think that’s why the women nowadays are surfing so well and pushing together because you kind of have to. I’m just trying to find my feet and it feels great to make it into another Semifinal.”

Earlier this morning, Erickson dispatched current World No. 4 Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in Round 4 Heat 1. The Californian played the patient game to wait for the sets and earned two 6-point rides to defeat the Hawaiian.

Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) will also join the top women’s field in her first CT Semifinal appearance after her dominating performance over Malia Manuel (HAW) with an impressive 16.16. Van Dijk will battle compatriot Gilmore in the second Semifinal match-up.

“It’s taken me about three years and I’m stoked,” Van Dijk said. “I can’t believe I made the Semis and I’m happy to just be surfing more fun waves out there. It got kind of slow at the end and I knew Malia [Manuel] could get any type of score on any kind of wave so I was really nervous. I’ve really only gotten one Quarter and the rest of my results are throwaways so I’m really needing this and really want to make my first FInal. I’m not looking to stop here and just want to surf better and better each heat.”

Round 4 Heat 3 saw 2016 WSL Rookie Keely Andrew (AUS) unable to hold on against Manuel. Andrew will be eliminated from the event in Equal 9th place.

Highlights from the Swatch Women’s Pro and Hurley Pro available at WorldSurfLeague.com


Swatch Women’s Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: 
Sage Erickson (USA) 12.57 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.97
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 15.70 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 11.03
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.34 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.00
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.66 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.90

Swatch Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: 
Sage Erickson (USA) 13.90 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.93
QF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.50 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 7.13
QF 3: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 16.16 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.60
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.10 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.33

Swatch Women’s Pro Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: 
Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
SF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

Men’s Hurley Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: 
Brett Simpson (USA) 15.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.46
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.43 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.07
Heat 3: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 15.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.64
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.77 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.84

Men’s Hurley Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: 
Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.87 def.. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.43
QF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.37 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.60
QF 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.13 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.17
QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.77 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 12.40

Men’s Hurley Pro Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1:
 Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
SF 2: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)

Kelly Slater Wins Tahiti Drops a 20 On The Way

Kelly Slater Wins Tahiti Drops a 20 On The Way

Kelly Slater (USA) has won the Billabong Pro Tahiti after defeating John John Florence (HAW) in the Final in eight-to-ten foot surf at Teahupo’o. The final day of competition at Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) has been treated to incredible performances by the world’s best surfers, culminating with Slater’s win. The Final day saw 35 barrels ridden between the two finalists.
11-time WSL Champion Slater claimed the 55th CT victory of his career to jump 11 places on the Jeep Leaderboard to 8th. The win today is Slater’s fifth in Tahiti, with previous event titles in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011 and solidifies his position as the best surfer at Teahupo’o.

Kelly Slater of the USA (pictured) celebrates winning the Billabong Pro Tahiti for the fifth time in his career and earns the A.I. Award on Tuesday August 23, 2016. PHOTO: © WSL/ Cestari SOCIAL: @kc80  This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“When I look back that will for sure be one of the best wins I have ever had,” said Slater. “To have John John [Florence] in the Final is a dream for me. It is no secret that I am towards the tail-end of my career. John John and Gabriel [Medina] are on their way up and those guys are just monsters. John John is all of our favorite surfers, so I want to see how many heats I can get with him before I am done and to have him out here where he and Gabriel are the favorites. This is a really special time for me. I am stoked.”

Today’s win is Slater’s best result of the season and backs up a Semifinal berth in Fiji and a Quarterfinal finish in Jeffreys Bay. It also marks a return to form and his first CT event win since the Billabong Pipe Masters in 2013.

“It just came together for me,” continued Slater. “I was on the right waves, I was in sync and totally relaxed the whole time. To be in that Final with John John and lose would have been no problem for me. I was taking each heat as a bonus. I have had such a bad run for me historically over the last couple of years that anything was going to be good.”

Kelly Slater of the USA (pictured) winning  the Billabong Pro Tahiti on Tuesday August 23, 2016.  PHOTO: @wsl/ Cestari SOCIAL: @wsl @kc80 This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Final saw a stacked match-up between the two CT superstars. Florence was quick to get points on the board with an 8.00 on his opening ride, but Slater fired with a near-perfect 9.77. Slater landed a miraculous free-fall drop followed by escaping a deep barrel to garner a stunning 9.17. Florence, with a 15.23, was put in a combination situation and needed two new scores with ten minutes left on the clock. Slater continued to better his score with a phenomenal 9.90 for a near-perfect 19.67 combined total to claim his victory.

En route to the Final Slater posted a Perfect 20 heat total in his Round 5 match-up with Keanu Asing (HAW). This is only the ninth time a perfect heat has been achieved in 40 years of professional surfing and the third time Slater has accomplished this feat. Despite a strong opening from Asing, the Slater juggernaut picked up momentum throughout the back half of the heat, posting a Perfect 10, an excellent 8.10 and then another Perfect 10 to seal the win and etch another achievement in the history books.

“The first 10 of that heat was a more difficult ride definitely, but the second one was a bigger, more perfect, classic tube,” said Slater after winning Round 5. “I just thought that the first one was a lot more difficult, so I was not sure if they would throw a 10 on the second one. I have been feeling good all week. A perfect heat is not going to happen many times in your life so I am stoked.”

Slater previously dispatched event Wildcard Bruno Santos (BRA) in the Quarterfinals with another Perfect 10 and a commanding 9.27 back-up score to take the win.

Slater also received the Andy Irons Most Committed Performance Award, which is given out every year to the standout surfer of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Previous winners include C.J. Hobgood (2015), Owen Wright (2014), John John Florence (2013), Ricardo dos Santos (2012) and Jeremy Flores (2011).

“I’m so stoked, I’ve worked for this thing for years,” said Slater. “Andy [Irons] would be equally mad and stoked that I won this. Last time I surfed against Andy, it was here at Teahupo’o and he won the event. It was his last win, and I lost to him in the Semifinals. It was a really special heat for me and this is a really special award. This is rad and I can’t wait to put the award in my house. I feel like I’ve won the contest already.”

John John Florence of HAwaii (pictured) winning his quarterfinal heat at the Billabong Pro Tahiti on Tuesday August 23, 2016.  PHOTO: @wsl/ Cestari SOCIAL: @wsl  @kc80 This image is the copyright of  the World Surf League and is provided royalty free for editorial use only, in all media now known or hereafter created. No commercial rights granted. Sale or license of the images is prohibited. This image is a factually accurate rendering of what it depicts and has not been modified or augmented except for standard cropping and toning. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The runner-up finish for Florence is his best ever result at Teahupo’o and sees the 23-year-old claim the Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the next event on the CT at Lower Trestles. Florence previously defeated Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Round 5, Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Quarterfinals and Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Semifinals.

“I am super stoked to be the leader on the Jeep Rankings,” Florence said. “But at this point, it is only a yellow jersey and what counts is at the end of the year and there is still a lot to go this year. I am going to keep chipping away at it.”

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2014 event winner, takes home a third-place finish following an incredible match-up against Florence in the second Semifinal. The sensational superheat saw the pair battle for a place in the Final and the chance to claim the Jeep Leader Jersey. The surfers traded impressive scores throughout the heat, posting seven excellent barrels above 9.00 between them during the bout. The Hawaiian held a slight lead with a near-perfect 18.44 to Medina’s 17.46, but with ten minutes left on the clock, Medina challenged Florence by coming out of a monstrous barrel to earn a Perfect 10 (the fifth of the day) and gain control of the heat. Under pressure and with four minutes remaining, Florence needed a 9.31. In a dramatic exchange, Florence used his priority to land a critical 9.93 to regain the lead and followed it up with a 9.73 to seal the win.

“It was a really fun heat,” said Medina. “John [Florence] is always hard to beat anywhere. We both had really good waves. It was his day today. I look forward to Trestles.”

Medina previously dispatched Jadson Andre (BRA) in Round 5 and Josh Kerr (AUS) in the Quarterfinals before facing Florence. Following today’s result Medina will remain in third place on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the next event on the CT at Lower Trestles.

Adrian Buchan (AUS) finished the event in third place, matching his best result of the season, after being defeated by eventual winner Slater in the Semifinals. The bout was a rematch of the 2013 Final between the two former event winners, however this time it was the 11-time World Champion that took the win. Slater found a near-perfect 9.63 and a 6.67 to take the lead from Buchan on his opening exchange, while Buchan trailed close behind with an 8.17. Buchan, needing an 8.14, made numerous attempts to escape deep barrel rides, but was unsuccessful on his attempts. Slater increased his lead with an 8.77 to put Buchan in a combination in the last thirty seconds.

Today’s result sees Buchan move up from 11th to 4th place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Buchan previously dispatched Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Kolohe Andino (USA) from the event in Round 5 and the Quarterfinals, respectively.

Julian Wilson (AUS) was defeated by eventual runner-up Florence in Quarterfinal 4 by only 0.74 points in a close head-to-head battle. Florence fired early with excellent rides, but Wilson kept selective. A wipeout on the razor-sharp reef rattled the Australian, but he fired back by coming out of a deep tube to earn a Perfect 10. Despite Wilson’s strong score, Florence was quick to answer back with the dominant combined score for the win. Wilson moves up to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I had the two waves to win that heat for sure,” said Wilson. “The first one I waited for but I got caught out of position and got absolutely walloped and split my chin and took some skin off. It rattled me a bit and I had to reset and gave myself another chance. That 10 was super fun, I knew I had to make the most of that wave. I got the lead for a minute but John John got that wave right behind.”

The next stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles, which will see the battle for this season’s World Title heat up as with the world’s best surfers take on Lowers from September 7 -18, 2016.
1: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.67
2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.23

SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.40 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.10
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 19.66 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.23

QF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.00
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.27 def. Bruno Santos (BRA) 17.43
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.90 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.40
QF 4: John John Florence (HAW) 17.34 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.60

Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.60
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 20.00 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.70
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.43 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.33
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 18.30 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.90

2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1. John John Florence (HAW) 39,900 pts
2. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 36,000 pts
3. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,700 pts
4. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 26,200 pts
5. Julian Wilson (AUS) 25,200 pts