The men's QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca woke up to a solid new swell pulsing five-to-six foot surf at Anfaplace to test the event's top seeds entering the show today.
As surfers who have been here the past three years know, the spot on a solid day is a challenging affair, with a lot of water moving through the lineup and creating all sorts of rips. The lefts offered more opportunities today and naturally it's the goofy footers who came out the strongest. The defending event champion Deivid Silva was quick to demonstrate it in the opening heat of the day.
Aussie Jordan Lawler (pictured up top) had a couple of big results in his best season on the Qualifying Series so far, but his European campaign hasn't been prolific yet. This could all change if the North Narrabeen surfer can keep up the form he displayed today on the set waves.
"The tide's come up since my morning session and it was so much easier in that heat," he said. "It's my first time here and I'm with my girlfriend so we're just going to cruise and enjoy being here, maybe try to see some places. It's such a different place and I'm digging it."
Timothee Bisso and Paul Cesar Distinguin fought it out on the same lefts, both on their forehand as well. The Frenchies traded waves and mixed big carves and snaps in the toughest sections to post two good scores each. Eventually it's yesterday's standout Bisso who took another heat win into Round Three, Distinguin advancing in second.
"Waves were super fun but the lineup is so big it wasn't easy to find the right spot out there," Bisso said. "I spent a long time watching the ocean before my heat and I feel like it paid off cause my wave choice was right. I'm stoked to get through with Paul Cesar, he's a good friend and it's always motivating to fight it out in a heat against a mate."
Yesterday's Brazilian show continued with the recent winner in Pantin Weslley Dantas in Heat 9. The powerful goofy foot from Ubatuba annihilated whatever came his way, scoring a first excellent 8 point ride for his rail-to-rail demonstration. He later found a big section in front of him and went to his aerial repertoire, with a massive rotation on his forehand for a near-perfect 9.43.
"That was epic out there," Dantas said. "Unfortunately last year I didn't make it here and I'm super happy to finally discover Casablanca and Morocco. You definitely need to be fit out there, but I have very similar conditions often at home so I felt fine. I absolutely loved the taste of victory last week and all the hard work I've put in seems to be paying off so hopefully I can be successful again soon."
The Moroccan crew did not let their crowd down either with both Ramzi Boukhiam and Aboubakar Bouaouda managing to advance despite tough matchups and the even tougher conditions at low tide early this afternoon.
"I'm beyond happy to win a heat like this in my home country," Bouaouda said. "I'm really focused, not like last year, and I want to do well. I don't do many other events, but I train all year long and I always can't wait for this event to happen."
A few regular footers did hold their own with solid backhand surfing, namely yesterday's best scorer Santiago Muniz, Charly Quivront as well as former finalists in Casa Nelson Cloarec and Rafael Teixeira just to name a few.
Surfers will be back on site Thursday at 8:45 a.m to reassess conditions and resume either or both the men and women's events.
Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here from September 4-9, 2018!