The men's final started right before the 10-minute mark with a split peak between the two finalists opting to go frontside, Lopes on the right while Criere started on the left. With an excellent 8.17, Lopes took a strong lead over Criere's false start.
Moments after getting back into position, Criere found a cracker of a wave and displayed his signature powerful frontside hacks, milking the wave all the way into the shorebreak for an 8.50.
The lead changed hands multiple times before Lopes absolutely destroyed a beautiful lefthander with three massive backhand top turns, rewarded by a 9.40, allowing the Brazilian to stamp his authority on the final.
Unphased, the young junior Criere continued to carefully select his waves and gave his everything to try to reclaim pole position, but eventually in vain. Lopes, who has won a QS event in Brazil a few years ago, renews with victory in Anglet and claims the 1,500 rankings points and $8,000 cheque in the process.
"I'm over the moon, I can't even describe the feeling," Lopes said. "I feel so lucky to have had the best waves in the semis and final, cause I matched with the top guys and they were really tough heats. I knew Andy was ripping in all his heats and so I really needed to be on the best waves and go big, fortunately it went my way."
A surfer accustomed to podiums on the Junior tours, Andy Criere (FRA) 20, was one of the top scorers all-week in Anglet and fell just short of his maiden QS victory in the final. His rail game and aerial skills proved lethal in the pumping surf of Anglet and Criere will be a force to be reckoned with in the future QS events.
"I had a really good event in Chile too and unfortunately couldn't surf the semis when the event was cancelled; here from the semis on I really wanted to go all the way cause I know that feeling of missing out," Criere reflected. "Bino surfed really well, I tried to fight back on a few waves but he got the right waves and I couldn't beat him. This final is extra special for me, being in the Basque Country with all my family around and I really felt the strong support of the local people here."
In the women's event, Alizé Arnaud (FRA) 25, got active early in the final to net two scores and start building her scoreboard. Ado on the other hand, played the patience game and sat with priority until a clean left picked her up, allowing the local surfer to perform three turns for a 7.17. Paddling back out, Ado found a clean righthander and dissected the fast running shoulder with speed, power and flow for an excellent 8.33.
In a combination situation, Arnaud couldn't compose with the conditions and had a hard time selecting the right waves to get back in the game. Despite a few last minute efforts from the former World Junior Champion, Ado's 16.16 heat total was too hard to overcome and Ado claimed the event title.
"I'm super happy, I had this extra little pressure being here at home and knowing the spot so well," Ado admitted. "Even though it's only 1,500 points on the line, this is a very important event. We had some awesome waves and I really wanted to do well. I hope this gives me enough confidence to go claim another big result in the next event of Pantin."
Runner-up to an in-form Ado, Arnaud's road to the final was a tough one, but the young surfer from Capbreton felt right at home in the excellent surf this week and found similarities with her homebreak of La Piste in the punchy A-frames.
"Pauline surfed really well, that was a tough final, she scored right from the get go and I tried to hit back but it wasn't enough," Arnaud explained. "I was pretty tired, I've been working this season as a surf instructor and surfing all those heats was exhausting. This event was excellent and I really hope we come back to Anglet next year."
With his runner-up spot in Anglet, Criere climbed up to No.4 on the European rankings behind Maxime Huscenot (FRA) in first, Nomme Mignot (FRA) second, Joan Duru (FRA) in third, and followed by Marc Lacomare (FRA) to complete the Top5.
In the women's, Anglet being the first event in Europe this season, the rankings follow today's results: Ado in first, Arnaud second, Maud Le Car (FRA) third, Kim Veteau (GLP) fourth, with Justine Dupont (FRA) and Camilla Kemp (PRT) sharing the fifth spot.
European surf stars and international visiting athletes will now move on to Galicia for the next event on the European Qualifying Series, the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro.