Most people will probably only remember from Heat 8 of Round 1 at the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro, the somewhat large winning margin of the current best surfer in the world on the Qualifying Series, Jorgann Couzinet. But that would be missing the little story behind the story, that of the guy who came in second, against all odds.
The second spot in the highest seeded surfer's heat is always kept for a wildcard but this time instead of giving it to a junior competitor or local favorite, the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro team along with French mag Surf Session held a video contest. That's where Jordan Oueslati comes in.
"I saw a game on Surf Session where you had to post a 30s video clip and the final 8 with the most votes were in a final round judged by Justine Dupont and Laurent Rondi (Lacanau contest director)," he explained. "I was fortunate enough to win the whole thing and I got the wildcard into this event, this is the first QS event I've ever done."
Jordan lives part time between his home island of Guadeloupe and the world-famous beach breaks of Southwest France, roughly 2 hours South of Lacanau. And he didn't want to do the drive for nothing, so in his first-ever heat on the QS he held his head high and played just the right cards, in this case mostly airs, to battle with the World's best and advance in second behind Jorgann.
"I have absolutely no pressure surfing here," he continued. "I was invited so I've got nothing to lose, I'm just out here to have a good time and try to surf well. The level was super high in that heat, I've known Jorgann since we were kids so it was super fun to surf a heat against him. He surfed really well as you'd expect and my goal was to make the heat so job done!"
"Conditions looked a bit like my home waves in Guadeloupe so I was comfortable out there in a little rip bowl left," he added. "I'm from St François and we have a similar wave there, but I've also lived in Capbreton for a while and conditions are very similar too. I split my time between working in the Water Addict surf camp there and I've just started my own in Guadeloupe so I'm half of the year at home as well."
And just in case a spot in Round 4 and a good battle with the QS number 1 wasn't enough, Jordan also got a little goody bag he's likely to enjoy!
"I also won a C-Skins wetsuit, an RT surfboard, board shorts and a 1-year subscription to the magazine so I'm stoked with the whole package and super happy to be here and part of the event."
The event completed the opening round of women's action as well as men's Round 3 and surfers will be back for more Friday at 8 a.m for the next call.
Tune in from August 13-18, 2019 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here!