NewsAnfaplace Pro CasablancaGatien Delahaye

Couzinet Wins European Title, Finals Sunday Set in Casablanca

Highlights: Men's Quarters Decided in Solid Surf in Casa
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Swell pumps again on Day 5 to setup a great finals Sunday at Anfaplace Pro Casablanca.

It's the unpredictability in surfing that makes it so special, so appealing to most people bored of a non-evolving playing field, a x-minute game or a set number of points to reach. Then again sometimes it just plays against you, the nature of swells and winds makes it pretty damn hard to predict.

The plan was to run two rounds today at the Anfaplace Pro Casablanca and decide the semifinalists but the unruly six foot conditions were a bit much to take in and competition was called off soon after the men's Round Four.

Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) .Casa Pro 2017 Some sets were actually in the eight foot range, Matthew McGillivray paddling for his life. WSL / Laurent Masurel

Still, surfers stepped up and took on the mushy lineup for the last four-man heats of the event and once again displayed total commitment to score some of the week's highest numbers.

Noe Mar McGonagle did not disappoint and kept attacking the big rights and lefts, dropping another 9 point bomb for his spot in the quarters. He also contributed to put an end to Jorgann Couzinet's run in Casablanca.

Jorgann however, had already done the job to secure his first-ever European Champion title. With three runner-up finishes in Israel, Zarautz, Anglet, and his major win two weeks ago in Pantin, the Reunion Island surfer had built too much of a lead for anyone to compete.

Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) .Casa Pro 2017 Jorgann surfed well again in Casa, but the shifting lineup didn't help his cause. WSL / Laurent Masurel

"I fought hard to win this title because last year I missed out on it for almost nothing," he said. "I'm super happy to finally win the European title! I've been working so hard to try to qualify for the CT and the European title was on the checklist of a good season, so now on to the next big goal. With everything going on in Reunion Island right now, I'm very happy to offer them that trophy and I hope I can make them even prouder with the qualification."

Jeronimo Vargas took out the second heat and continued his underdog run through the rounds to move into the quarters. Fighting a lasting neck pain, he found the gems in the moving Casablanca lineup and put together the day's second-best effort for a decent 15.50 heat total.

Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) .Casa Pro 2017 Jeronimo hits the brakes on a clean Casa wall. WSL / Laurent Masurel

"I'm really just starting to compete again this year after fighting a hernia on the C6 vertebra last year," he admitted. "I'm out to build a ranking again and trying to enter the QS6,000 and 10,000 hopefully soon so I'll take all the points I can get. It's my second time in Morocco, I was here for free surfing seven years ago and I love the country. I'm super excited to be here and still be competing and I look forward to tomorrow."

In an almost entirely Central / South American lineup, two Frenchmen continue to fight in hopes of bringing the Casablanca event title back to Europe. And both have a history here, Gatien Delahaye placed runner-up in 2015 and Nelson Cloarec placed runner-up last year to, wait for it, a brazilian, Deivid Silva.

In a rematch of last year's final, Nelson will take on Deivid again when the event recommences for a spot in the semis.

Nelson Cloarec (FRA) .Casa Pro 2017 The layback is not the only trick in Nelson's book either. WSL / Laurent Masurel

"Conditions were tough today but all together I got pretty lucky, I got waves early in the heat and it set me on a good rhythm," Nelson said. "I love doing that layback snap but it only really works with a bit of size so I haven't been using it much before this event. I'm stoked I got to show some good carves and I look forward to more tomorrow. It's definitely going to be interesting surfing against Deivid again, hopefully I can get him this time."

Three more Brazilian surfers Peterson Crisanto, Rafael Teixeira, Luel Felipe complete the last eight.

Deivid Silva (BRA) .Casa Pro 2017 Defending champ' in Casa, Deivid gets all the attention and support he deserves from the locals. WSL / Laurent Masurel

The final call at 9 a.m Sunday will see surfers in both the men and women's events resume their Moroccan title chase in expected settling conditions with light winds.

Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here.

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