An important fourth day of action unfolded at the QS 3,000 Rip Curl Pro Search Taghazout Bay as the event top seeds in both the men and women divisions got their Moroccan campaign underway in super fun conditions at the backup venue of Anza.
Waves in the three-to-four foot range and light winds painted the perfect canvas for the best European and African surfers to showcase their surfing. The men's Round of 64 and the women's Round of 32 were completed in a long day that spanned from dawn to dusk.
Top Seeds and Local Wildcard Put On a Show
Waves gradually improved throughout the day and the performance level rose accordingly from the event's top seeds, namely Jorgann Couzinet who was the first surfer to break the 16 point barrier (out of 20) with two big scores for his attack of the clean Anza lefts. Couzinet was quickly joined by event wildcard Aboubakar Bouaouda who lit up in the lineup and racked up his own high, combined heat total courtesy of an excellent 8.23 and 7.77, earned again on the lefts.
Justin Becret took a different road to near perfection as he launched into a big frontside rotation to post the highest single-wave score of the entire event so far, an impressive 9.17 (out of a possible 10).
Women's Top Seeds Suffer Mixed Fates at Anza
In the afternoon sun, the women's Round of 32 witnessed numerous upsets as some of the event's top seeds fell short of advancing in somewhat tricky conditions. The likes of Zoë Steyn, Ariane Ochoa, Rachel Presti, Mafalda Lopes, and unfortunately event wildcard Lilias Tebbai) were some of the surfers to bow out earlier than expected.
On the other hand, Tessa Thyssen reveled and posted the highest single-wave number of the round, Pauline Ado and Nadia Erostarbe's wealth of experience paid dividends in the form of a ticket for the next round, and a few newcomers made waves with wins into the Round of 16, namely Heimiti Fierro, Nahia Milhau and Gabriela Dinis).
The newly crowned World Junior Champion Francisca Veselko posted the round's best combined total and a statement of her determination to make her QS effort pay off early in the season. A first-time winner on tour last summer, Veselko is poised to make her mark again on the Qualifying Series with her impressive surfing and current confidence levels.
The next call will be made at 8 a.m CET on Friday, February 24, 2023 at Anchor Point to decide the day's schedule.