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Luana Silva and Lucas Wrice Claim Maiden QS Victories at Phillip Island Pro

Luana Silva and Lucas Wrice have claimed their first-ever World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) wins at the Phillip Island Pro presented by the Bass Coast Shire.

Prize Giving Luana Silva and Lucas Wrice at the Phillip Island Pro Prize Giving. WSL / Liam Robertson

Strong winds and a surging swell provided challenging conditions for the remaining eight surfers on the final day held at Smiths Beach.

Silva looked at home in the strong swell and winds pushing the limits on her turns to take down Samantha Sibley in the first Semifinal before besting Kirra Pinkerton in the final.

Pinkerton eliminated Victorian and reigning event champion India Robinson in the second Semifinal on her way to the final. Silva locked in an 8.00 point ride and a 6.25 in the Final through a series of tight turns in the pocket in the rough seas.

"I'm over the moon to win my first-ever QS and make my first final," said Silva. "I'm so stoked, I just want to keep the momentum going. It was pretty challenging out there today, to be honest. I was hoping we would keep running at the Penguin Parade but I just had to adapt and make the most of what we had. I'm heading to Port Stephens for my first QS6,000 event next so I'm super excited to get up there and hopefully make some heats."

Luana Silva Luana Silva was on fire at Smiths. WSL / Liam Robertson

Placing in second was Kirra Pinkerton who could only manage a 6.55 and 5.00 in the final.

"I'm just stoked to make the final and come up against my good friend," said Pinkerton. "I've been to Australia quite a few times but this is my first time to Phillip Island. The waves are super fun down here and there always seems to be swell which is awesome."

Kirra Pinkerton Kirra Pinkerton continuing her solid run in 2019. WSL / Liam Robertson

The Men's side of the draw saw an all Australian affair with eventual event winner Lucas Wriceeliminating Ethan Stocks before facing off against good friend and traveling partner Dylan Moffat (North Narrabeen, NSW) in the Final. Moffat eliminated Victorian Cahill Bell-Warren in the second Semifinal.

The final was a tight affair with Wrice locking in an excellent 8.00 point ride backed up by a 6.90. Moffat fell agonisingly short finishing with a 7.25 and 7.45, just 0.2 of a point shy of the lead.

"I'm really happy," said Wrice. "I have had a few decent results over the past year but haven't been able to make a win so I'm stoked to finally crack one. It was super fun staying with Dylan and then getting to surf in the final together. We are good mates so it's always good to surf against each other. I have surfed a bit down on Phillip Island before at Pro Junior events and I really like it. There are always good waves and it's a beautiful place."

Lucas Wrice Lucas Wrice belting a wind blown Smith Beach section. WSL / Liam Robertson

In making the final, Moffat scored his highest placing in a QS this year.

"The goal is always to win, but I'm glad we are down here on Phillip Island, getting some fun waves and making a few heats," Moffat said. "I was chatting with Lucas at the start of the event about us both making the final so for it to happen and to be such a close heat was awesome."

Lucas Wrice Lucas Wrice chaired to victory at the 2019 Phillip Island Pro. WSL / Liam Robertson

The 2019 Phillip Island Pro men's and women's events will run from November 7 - 10.

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