Deivid Silva and Pauline Ado have won the Quiksilver Pro Casablanca and Roxy Pro Casablanca respectively, in good three-to-five foot surf at Anfaplace Shopping Center. Silva defeated form Frenchman Nelson Cloarec while the women's European title race culminated with the battle between Ado and good friend Justine Dupont in the women's final.
Silva opened his final with a decent score, a 6.5 collected on a lengthy left offering multiple but somewhat soft sections, but quickly started on a big and hollower set wave where he could really showcase his power turns for an excellent 8.67 and a strong hold on the heat lead.
Cloarec on the other hand struggled to find any substantial opportunity in the first half of the final, and finally managed to catch up midway through with a 6.40 on a smaller insider wave to exit the combination situation and keep a foot in the battle.
On the ten-minute mark, Silva started on another good left and disappeared behind the previous wave's whitewater only to reappear as he ignited the lip on two huge turns and continued his destructive path into the inside for an incredible 9.13. When many thought he had peaked, the Brazilian continued to build momentum and locked in an even greater 9.33 just a couple of minutes later to definitely bury his opponent's chances.
Silva claims a career-third Qualifying Series win in Morocco and further asserts in dominant form in 2016, as the young Brazilian sits within the series' Top 10 and eyes a potential qualification for the Elite tour next season. The 1,500 points collected today may not improve Silva's rankings tally but the lethal goofy foot from Guaruja will certainly take a huge confidence boost from this victory and approach next week's QS10,000 event in Portugal with a winning mind frame.
"I'm beyond stoked to win here in Morocco today, I felt really confident in this event because I trained really hard at home in a very similar wave, a long left in the rip like that, I just want to thank God for sending me these waves in the final," an ecstatic Silva stated. "It was great to come here for the first time, Morocco is so different from everything I know. I knew this result wouldn't change my rankings but I'm super happy to have come here to compete, make a little bit of money and keep that competitive fire burning before Cascais."
In the balance today for Cloarec was not only a potential first-ever QS win, but also the 2016 regional title race as a win in Casablanca would have meant the reigning European Junior Champion would also clinch the season's over-18 title. Visibly affected by the situation's pressure, Cloarec was unfortunately unable to perform like he had previously in Morocco and was forced to settle for the runner-up spot.
"When you get to that final the only thing you have on your mind is the win, unfortunately today it didn't go my way but I'm still very happy with my performance here," he said. "I think I was too close-minded on my wave selection and let too many waves go through unridden. I let Deivid have one and he got his first nine so clearly that was a poor decision. I would have loved to win the European QS title here but I'm quite new to this and honestly for a first full year I'm really stoked with how I did."
This result rocketed Cloarec from eighth to third on the regional rankings, and cemented the final season standings with Jonathan Gonzalez claiming a maiden European title. The Canarian, absent in Morocco, had previously won two regional events and built a comfortable lead.
In the women's final, Ado jump-started her heat with a 7-point ride to quickly apply pressure on her opponent, as Dupont suffered a similar start to Cloarec's, not able to find the right waves in the tricky high-tide lineup. Ado rapidly backed up her main score with another decent wave of 5.83 to improve her situation.
The remainder of the heat saw both Dupont and Ado exchange meaningless scores as Ado couldn't really improve her scoreboard while Dupont struggled to get a wave above the average 5-point bar.
Ado claims her second QS victory of 2016 and reached the final for the fourth time in Europe to seal the deal on an unprecedented fifth European Champion title. The talented French surfer from Bayonne keeps a three-year domination streak on the regional rankings going, as she continues to battle for re-qualification among the prestigious Top17.
"My main goal was to keep building momentum and grab points again here but I still had in mind that European title, especially since this season we had several events and a really high-level of surfing on tour," she reflected. "I'm super happy to finish this leg of events with a win. It was great to make the final against Justine, she's just won the Azores and has been surfing so strong here I knew it would be a tough final. I was lucky to score early on and it made me a little more relaxed, but conditions were tough. I love it here in Morocco, I've had countless trips in the country and I love the vibe. I hope this first event inspires a lot of Moroccan girls to get in the water and start surfing."
The event's top scorer, Dupont couldn't unfortunately keep her great rhythm going until the very last heat and had a hard time finding the gems she had performed on all week. A winner in Azores before coming to Casablanca, Dupont confirmed her new found form and consistency and will look to keep the ball rolling into the final events of the year as she battles for her own spot on next season's Samsung Galaxy Women's Championship Tour.
"I've had good heats here again which is very positive but I am so frustrated with that final," she admitted. "I completely blew it, right from the start I let her have a wave I should have gotten for myself, and later on I didn't go on another one when she was in front of me. I'm clearly still learning and have a few things to improve on. I'm going to head home and straight back to work before Costa Rica and the other events, I want to keep getting better and better."
Today's crowning of Silva & Ado concludes another epic week of high-performance surfing at the Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Casablanca, to establish the event as an excellent regular stop on the European and African Qualifying Series. The growing number of surfers attending this second edition and the level of performance displayed all week comes as a testament to the location's potential as a competitive surfing arena.
Morocco being the final events counting towards both the European and African regional tours, the final rankings Top 5 stand as follows:
Men's European QS:
1 - Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
2 - Jorgann Couzinet (REU)
3 - Nelson Cloarec (FRA)
4 - Pedro Henrique (PRT)
5 - Joan Duru (FRA)
Women's European QS:
1 - Pauline Ado (FRA)
2 - Justine Dupont (FRA)
3 - Ariane Ochoa (EUK)
4 - Garai Sanchez-Ortun (EUK)
5 - Carol Henrique (PRT)
Men's African QS:
1 - Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
2 - Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
3 - Michael February (ZAF)
4 - Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF)
5 - Benjamin Brandon (ZAF)
Women's African QS:
1 - Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF)
2 - Nikita Robb (ZAF)
3 - Tanika Hoffman (ZAF)
4 - Teal Hogg (ZAF)
5 - Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF)
The World's Best Qualifying Series campaigners will next meet in Portugal for the upcoming men's QS10,000 Billabong Pro Cascais pres. by Allianz from September 24 - October 2, 2016.