Quiksilver Pro Casablanca

Semifinals Set at Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca

Highlights Day 5
Upsets and good surfing as Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca decide semifinalists in Morocco.

Building three-to-four foot surf at Anfaplace Shopping Center allowed competition to resume at the Quiksilver Pro Casablanca and Roxy Pro Casablanca to determine the events' Semifinalists.

The men's two rounds disputed today witnessed heavy upsets with the eliminations of Jorgann Couzinet who came one heat shy of a maiden European title, Ian Gouveia who suffered a buzzer-beater loss at the hands of Deivid Silva and event favorite Ramzi Boukhiam who couldn't advance past Round Four.

Ian Gouveia (BRA) .Casa16 Gouveia's elimination was the first surprise of the day - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Lucas Silveira was one of the day's top scorers in both Round Four and the Quarterfinals as the powerful regular foot ignited on the long lefts breaking in front of Anfaplace Shopping Center. Silveira's stylish approach consistently scored in the good to excellent range all week and will be a forced to be reckoned with on finals day.

Lucas Silveira (BRA) .Casa16 Silveira goes vertical for a ticket into the semis where he'll face fellow Brazilian Deivid Silva. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"Rafael (Teixeira) and I had a freesurf yesterday on that peak roughly about the same tide and figured how the peak works so it was quite funny to surf against each other today in the same conditions," he said.

"I had a great run in Europe with Quarters or better in almost every event so I'm stoked and ready to take on Cascais next week where the big points are. We have a really strong crew of Brazilian surfing, traveling and pushing each other everywhere we go, that emulation is super positive and that's a big factor in our doing good in all these events."

Reigning European Junior Champion Nelson Cloarec kept the regional title race alive for one more day by advancing into the Semis. The Hossegor local finally broke the Quarterfinals spell he suffered this season and will be assured to clinch his season's highest finish on Sunday.

Nelson Cloarec (FRA) .Casa16 Cloarec buries the rail and scores big on his backhand. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"All those fifth places were pretty frustrating so I'm really happy to make it through the quarters this time," he reflected. "It started slow for me and Bino (Lopes) had a few good waves so I needed something big. When I fell on that bomb I really thought I blew it but I guess I had done enough before that last turn. My brother has been very helpful, I'm sure he'll make a great coach someday!"

The last Quarterfinal saw talented South African rookie Matthew McGillivray take a last-minute victory over Miguel Tudela with an excellent wave punctuated by a frontside rotation for an 8.90 and the win.

In the women's event, European title contenders Pauline Ado and Justine Dupont continued to cruise through the rounds on each side of the draw, and will take their battle to finals day in Morocco.

Justine Dupont (FRA) .Casa16 Dupont's signature closeout re-entry was once acclaimed the recipe for victory. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Ella Williams came out victorious of a really close matchup against young British up-and-comer Peony Knight to reach finals day once again. Winner this summer in Lacanau and runner-up in Anglet, Williams will continue to spoil the regional title race as she'll take on Ado in the Semis when the event resumes.

Ella Williams (NZL) .Casa16 Williams' surfing was excellent again but the lack of waves in her Quarterfinal complicated her job. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"It's been such a great trip with my mom, we've been loving all the new places and events," she commented. "Bigger waves tomorrow should be fun, especially around high tide when the waves tend to get a bit flat it'll give us more opportunities and I'm excited!"

Ainara Aymat rounded up the day's action with an important win over Peru's Melanie Giunta for her first-ever Qualifying Series Semifinal berth on Sunday.

Ainara Aymat (EUK) .Casa16 Aymat hits a final maneuver and moves past her opponent into the Semis. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Due to the morning's low tide and probability of fog, event officials will convene surfers at 11 a.m. Sunday for the final call of the 2016 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Casablanca and the culmination of the European Title race.

MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for "The new swell looks good for Sunday. Head high plus on the sets, albeit a little less consistent first thing as that swell builds. Winds again should be light for the morning and things a bit more lined up. The warm afternoon temperatures will swing that wind to a light onshore later in the day," for Sunday.