The two strongest surfers in the quarters Justine Dupont and Aping Agudo met in the semis just as the swell started to pulse. Both surfers put on a great show and for the majority of the heat the reigning European Champion Dupont was in the lead.
It was a great opposition of regular foot vs. goofy in the rights and lefts of North Fistral and as rain showers stopped, more and more people got closer to the water's edge to catch all the action.
In the last five minutes, a split-peak resulted in both surfers paddling back out to the lineup at the same time. When the next set wave came in, evidently the priority situation wasn't clear for the French surfer and she received an interference. Filipino surfer Agudo's advanced into the Final.
"I like small waves so that was great for me today," she said. "I surf a lot of similar conditions at home so I felt great. I've been coming here for six years now but it's the first time I compete in the event so I'm very happy to win heats. I managed to find some sections for hang fives and tens and I had a lot of fun!"
"It's my first final ever at a WSL event so I'm stoked!" she said. "The strong wind and rain made it very difficult out there but thankfully I found a few fun little waves. Conditions are completely different to what I'm used to at home but I managed to adapt. It would be a dream-come-true to qualify for the World Longboard Championship!"
The men's semis started on the higher tide and offered great little waves for Edouard Delpero and Ben Howey in the first heat. By reaching the semis, Edouard overtook his older brother Antoine in the European rankings and could secure a second regional title comes finals day.
In their Semifinal, the Frenchman found longer rides and perfectly navigated the sections to score lengthy hang-fives and tens. Howey's performance was by no means a let down, the British surfer collecting two 7+ rides for his nose rides and stylish turns, but Delpero with a 17.23 total moved on to the Final.
"I'm stoked to make the final, it's going to be epic!" he stated. "It definitely wasn't easy and I'm hoping conditions are a bit better for the finals tomorrow. I really want to win another European title, so bring it on!"
The second semi was a battle of epic proportions between good friends Ben Skinner and Adam Griffiths. Griffiths found an excellent 8.50 right away and lead the next fifteen minutes of the heat, but Skinner clicked into gear around the ten-minute mark and managed to take the lead back.
As time ran out, Griffiths' repeated efforts kept coming short of the required 7.26 and Newquay's favorite, Skinner joined Delpero in the Final. The last heat will be a showdown for the 2018 European Longboard title as both surfers can clinch it with a victory at Boardmasters.
"It's a dream finish for the tour," he said. "Both Edouard and I have a shot now and it's going to come down to the best man in the final! I'm beyond excited to be a part of it, what a great European tour it's been. Adam is one of my best mates, and he made my job difficult. But I knew what waves I wanted to get and I just kept my calm."
Griffiths scored the event's highest single score of 9.33 earlier in the day and walked away with an equal third in his only event of the season on the regional tour.
"I think it was just North Fistral my local spot sent me that one great wave," he said. "It allowed me to get a nose ride on the take off and fit a few turns in the pocket. I've been really busy with work and with the good ranking I had in the World Championship last year I didn't need to re-qualify so I chose not to surf too many events this year."
Tune in from August 8-12, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here! For more information about the festival, visit boardmasters.com.