As the swell bumped up slightly from previous days and the sky cleared, conditions looked a little bit nicer and allowed competitors in the QS1,000 Boardmasters, Quiksilver & Roxy Opens to fight for the event titles today.
Ella Williams claimed her first event win of the season and a much deserved break from a string of average results lately. The former World Junior Champion has been consistently placing in the Top 30 on the Qualifying Series and will need to build momentum from her Newquay win and transpose her good form on the bigger events coming right up.
"It's such a great feeling to win an event again, I'm so excited!," said Williams. "This has been my toughest season ever so far so it's nice to finally get back in rhythm. Winning an event makes the place all the more special and I'm excited to go back to Lacanau just like I'll be excited to come back here next year. My mom and dad take turns traveling with me and I really like having their support, it's really tough doing it on your own."
Mikaela Greene placed runner-up for the second time in 2017 and adds yet another great result to her season tally. Unfortunately the young Aussie's best finishes have only been in smaller-scale events so far and she'll need to step her game up in the QS6,000 where the big points are.
Mikaela had previously upset the defending event champion Claire Bevilacqua, defeating the former Championship Tour surfer in their Semifinal matchup.
"Ella is a really tough competitor and if it was going to be anybody to lose to I'm glad I lost to her today," Mikaela admitted. "Every heat is a learning curve and I definitely took away a lot from that heat. I'm pretty happy with my performance and I definitely I can get that first place before the end of the season. It gives you a lot of confidence when you have a good result behind you and I hope I can follow through in the next few events. This place has that real English vibe and it's been a great experience for my first time in Newquay."
Lliam Mortensen won his second event back-to-back after claiming the Murasaki Shonan Open last month in Japan. The Australian up-and-comer was sitting right outside the Top 100 coming into Boardmasters. He's on his way, though, to the coveted QS10,000-level events and will have a chance to shine amongst some of the world's best surfers if he can keep his momentum throughout the European leg.
"I had a super bad season last year and I couldn't imagine turning it around with two event wins halfway through this one," he said. "I've been to England a couple of times but never here and I loved it. It's summer time and everyone's here, and to surf in front of a crowd is really cool. I'm definitely going to have a little celebration at the music festival now!"
Kairi Nori was the surprise finalist at Fistral, topping a stacked field to place runner-up for the first time in a Qualifying Series event. The 18-year-old from Japan will take a massive leap on the rankings where he stood in 256th position before this event.
"I'm very happy with my result today," he said. "I've had a great time here, we had decent waves and the people were super nice, I loved the food too it was an awesome experience! It's only my second year on the QS and this is my best result ever so I'm excited and I look forward to my next events in France and Spain."
With Boardmasters, Quiksilver & Roxy Open completed today, the new European QS Top 5 is as follows:
Boardmasters, Jeep Men & Women Longboard will resume Sunday and crown their champions at Fistral with a first Call at 8:30 a.m.