- WSL / Laurent Masurel
Highlights: Ribeiro, Veselko Crowned in Lacanau
The pair of Portuguese youngsters come out on top of a stacked field on Finals day of the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro to claim their first-ever QS win.

Guilherme Ribeiro and Francisca Veselko have won the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro today, claiming victory in the Finals against Maxime Huscenot and Maelys Jouault held in clean three-to-four foot surf.

Stop No. 3 of 10 on the 2022/23 European Qualifying Series (QS), the QS1,000 Caraïbos Lacanau Pro enjoyed an epic week of surfing with good conditions throughout the waiting period and culminating with the finals today.

It was a real charge from the juniors on Finals Day as the next generation of competitors took over and defeated most of the more established competitors on their way to the Finals.

Portuguese Junior Defeats Challenger Series Contender

Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT), Lacanau 2022 Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) - WSL / Laurent Masurel

A 3-time winner on the QS, Maxime Huscenot took on Portuguese junior Guilherme Ribeiro in the men's Final. The Frenchman looked out of rhythm in his first few attempts and Ribeiro capitalized, scoring two good scores early to apply pressure on his opponent.

The Portuguese rookie was brimming with confidence as he kept applying his powerful carves in the right sections to further distance himself from Huscenot. The former World Junior Champion started surfing better but his wave selection was off and unfortunately limiting his scoring ability. The clock slowly ran out as the ocean wasn't very generous with set waves and Ribeiro claimed a breakout win on the Qualifying Series.

"This is a bit surreal, I've never made the Quarters of a QS and out of nowhere, I come to France, probably the hardest place to do a result with all the guys ripping and I win!" Ribeiro said. "Everything was just on my side this week. I've worked so hard, and lost so many times but after this it was all worth it."

Virtually unknown from the French crowds, the 20 year-old from Caparica impressed all week. The only non-French surfer in the Quarters, Ribeiro was the clear underdog and went all out on finals day to come out on top. Today's win moved him up to 3rd on the European QS.

"There's no time to waste, we have another event right away, even more important with more points on the line so I'm going to try to go into it with the same mindset and hopefully have a lot of fun again." Ribeiro added.

The 2015 winner in Lacanau, Huscenot was unable to match his opponent's rhythm in the Final, but the Frenchman continues to rack up big results in one of his best seasons on tour. Currently ranked 16th on the Challenger Series (CS), the Reunion Island surfer's focus remains on the qualifying effort for next year's Championship Tour and another Final appearance will surely boost his confidence.

"I wanted to go big right from the start with airs but it put me in the wrong rhythm," Huscenot explained. "It's ok, honestly I'm not here for points or prize money, my goal is to keep my momentum, keep making heats. It's awesome to surf events in France too, we don't have many so I always love doing them. I was able to work on my new boards and keep active so I'm stoked and more motivated than ever for the rest of the season."

Huscenot and Ribeiro had previously eliminated Thomas Debierre and Gatien Delahaye respectively in their Semifinal matchups.

Veselko Claims First Career Win on the QS

Francisca Veselko (PRT), Lacanau 2022 Francisca Veselko (PRT) - WSL / Laurent Masurel

The women's Final was another France vs Portugal battle and an all-junior affair between Maelys Jouault and Francisca Veselko. Veselko came out swinging in the opening moments of the heat, posting a 7 point ride for a combination of two carves on a clean Lacanau wall. She backed it up quickly and took a comfortable lead in her first QS Final.

Jouault who had been an absolute threat up until this point, posting huge scores and in the moments that mattered most, looked affected by the pressure of the situation and could not find a wave with potential or lay down her usual powerful turns.

On the other hand, Veselko kept doing her thing, enjoying a hassle-free lineup and surfing liberated with very little opposition. Time eventually ran out and the 19 year-old from Carcavelos came out the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro winner.

"This was my first Final on the QS and winning it is so special," Veselko said. "So many legends have made history here and to be a part of it is really special. I've been working hard for this and I'm really happy to see it start to pay off. I felt confident from the first day I got here and the waves have been firing so it made it all very enjoyable."

A rising star on the European Junior scene the past few years, Veselko has been making the transition to the QS look somewhat easy with big performances like a 3rd place in Israel, a couple of 5th places and today's win marking her biggest achievement to date. She is also competing against some of the world's best surfers on the Challenger Series where she'll undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with in future years.

"I'm really happy for Gui too, he's a really hard-working person too and I'm stoked that Portugal took the wins today," Veselko continued. "I've been pretty consistent lately, obviously I'm still learning and I know I'm not just going to start winning everything but it's a great step forward and I'll try to keep my momentum."

A giant-killer in the previous rounds, 19 year-old Maelys Jouault eliminated two of the strongest surfers in the draw, Yolanda Hopkins and Pauline Ado to reach her first Final on the QS. A winner for the first time in the junior division earlier this season, the surfer from Brittany is starting to make waves at the regional level.

"It feels really great to make the Final today and see that my surfing is still good," Jouault said. "I've come here on my own and it felt great to have the support from everyone. I'm feeling really good at the moment, I'm happy and it shows, so I'm just going to try to keep this going."

Jouault and Veselko had previously eliminated Pauline Ado and Carolina Mendes respectively in their Semifinal matchups.

With the completion of the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro, the race to the European QS title continues, here are the current rankings:

European Men's QS Top 5:
1 - Sam Piter (FRA)
2 - Tiago Carrique (FRA)
3 - Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT)
3 - Bitor Garitaonandia (ESP)
3 - Kai Odriozola (ESP)

European Women's QS Top 5:
1 - Yolanda Hopkins (PRT)
2 - Francisca Veselko (PRT)
3 - Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP)
4 - Rachel Presti (DEU)
5 - Alys Barton (GBR)

Surfers will now head down the coast to the French Basque Country for the next event on the 2022-23 European Qualifying Series, the QS3,000 Rip Curl Pro Anglet starting Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

And don't miss out on the big night-surfing show tonight with the Caraïbos Surf de Nuit Anglet presented by Rip Curl, starting around 9 p.m CEST, webcast LIVE on the WSL platforms.

COVID-19 Updates
The health and safety of our athletes, staff, and the local communities we visit are of the utmost importance, and we have a strong set of procedures in place at every event to keep everyone safe. The WSL continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and work closely with government partners and local health authorities to make the best decisions for our athletes and the sport.

All events and dates/locations remain subject to restrictions on global travel and public gatherings.

The Caraïbos Lacanau Pro is scheduled from August 16-21, 2022 at Grande Plage, Lacanau - France. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

*The Caraïbos Lacanau Pro is organized by Côte Ouest, the city council of Lacanau and the Lacanau Surf Club, supported by Caraïbos, Café Maritime, Suez, Signature Promotion, Office de tourisme Médoc Atlantique, Tourtel Twist, Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Département de la Gironde, Volkswagen JRA33, Oxbow, Airotel, Budgy Smuggler, UB4 Kids, Roadsurfer, Hackschooling Institute, Nacarat, Kayok, Le bihan, Soler Green, Centre de dépistage des cancers, ST Climbing, Casino de Lacanau, Best Western, Chateau Reaut, EVEO développements, Club med, Les grands pins, Bicy'cool, La Grange aux pains, Joué Music, Unikalo, Pickle Skate Shop, Ocean 52, Krom Kendama, Alinea with media partners Sud Ouest and Virgin Radio.

1 - Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) 13.40
2 - Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.20

1 - Francisca Veselko (PRT) 13.50
2 - Maelys Jouault (FRA) 7.00

SF 1: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 11.83 def. Thomas Debierre (FRA) 8.73
SF 2: Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) 12.60 def. Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 11.73

SF 1: Maelys Jouault (FRA) 13.33 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.07
SF 2: Francisca Veselko (PRT) 10.73 def. Carolina Mendes (PRT) 8.80

QF 1: Thomas Debierre (FRA) 15.97 def. Teva Bouchgua (FRA) 11.33
QF 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.17 def. Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.50
QF 3: Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) 15.03 def. Sam Piter (FRA) 14.83
QF 4: Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 14.33 def. Tiago Carrique (FRA) 13.93

QF 1: Maelys Jouault (FRA) 12.84 def. Yolanda Hopkins (PRT) 10.67
QF 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.10 def. Mafalda Lopes (PRT) 13.76
QF 3: Francisca Veselko (PRT) 11.43 def. Camilla Kemp (DEU) 10.00
QF 4: Carolina Mendes (PRT) 11.80 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 10.90

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