Hawaiian rookie Ezekiel Lau clearly had a special mojo working for him Thursday at Praia do Guincho, and it paid off at the top of the podium of the EDP Billabong Pro Cascais. Hot on his heels, though, was fellow Championship Tour surfer Italo Ferreira who, like Lau, was looking for a boost up the QS rankings. Ferreira pushed Lau to the very end, and finished runner-up at the QS10,000 event.
Lau arrived in Portugal ranked No. 25 on the CT's Jeep Leaderboard -- three spots outside of requalification. On the Qualifying Series, he wasn't doing much better -- he was ranked somewhere in the low hundreds. That is, until now. With his win in Cascais and 10,000-point coup QS, he's jumped up to QS No. 12 -- not a slam dunk for 2018, but a whole lot closer. Ferreira, who missed a handful of CT events this year due to injury, jumped 80 spots on the QS ranks, to No. 17.
Catch the best of the action from a glistening morning at Praia do Guincho.