The QS1,500 Royal Moroccan Surfing Federation presents Quiksilver Pro Casablanca at Anfaplace launched today in a building swell with four-to-six foot waves breaking at Anfaplace Shopping Center. The first day of action saw no less than 25 heats from the first two rounds of competition.
Current European No.3 Nomme Mignot (FRA) 18, who has been on an absolute tear this summer throughout the European leg, continued his stellar campaign towards a maiden regional title with a great first heat in Casablanca.
"It feels amazing to be on a such a roll and do whatever I want in the water," Mignot explained. "I'm super comfortable, relaxed and really enjoying surfing competitively at the moment. There's waves, we're in Morocco, everything is just great!"
Mignot surfed a near-perfect heat in Round 1 to collect a total of 18.80 points for multiple combinations of powerful turns on the clean lefthander breaking in front of Anfaplace Shopping Center. His sharp rail game and variety on each turn impressed the building crowd and local surfers.
"The heat before mine had more rights but with the incoming tide that left just started to pump and it was super fun," Mignot continued. "I'm not looking at rankings and title race, I'm here to get some points and surf well, we'll see where that gets me."
France's Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 19, was first to crack the very high end of the judging scale with an excellent wave of his own for a 9.13. The talented junior backed it up nicely to collect the third highest combined heat total of the day, an impressive 16.13.
"It was a bit wild at the start but I had a pretty good start with two good scores," Cloarec said. "I really enjoyed the heat and was lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time. I've been here in Morocco a few times already but further south on the coast around Agadir, so it's great to be back and discover a new part of the country."
Perth Standlick (AUS) 25, made the long trip from Australia to Morocco worth his while with a blasting performance in the opening round of competition. The talented Australian who has been enjoying the many treasures of Morocco while the swell was absent, was happy to finally hit the water.
"It felt nice, the conditions are hard to read but I just tried to watch the previous heats and figure out where those two or three-turn waves were," Standlick said. "I've always wanted to come to Morocco and there are the QS10,000 coming after this in Europe so that seemed like a pretty good reason to come here. I wanted to experience different food, a different culture, I've been here for five days and the surf was flat so I had heaps of time to walk around the city and explore."
Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 18, scored one of the few barrels ridden in the moving lineup and was rewarded with an excellent 8.93. The young South African who has been consistently scoring high in the early rounds throughout his European campaign continued with a solid performance in Morocco.
"I'm really happy to make the first couple of heats," McGillivray stated. "There's a lot more swell today, you got to be quite selective with your waves. It's my first time here in Morocco and I'm really enjoying it, it's very different from South-Africa."
Local surfer Aboubakar Bouaouda (MAR) 15, made his way through a treacherous round of 64 matchup and disposed of current European Junior No.7 Miguel Blanco (PRT) to advance into the third round. The talented Moroccan will look to confirm his excellent form when he faces more top seeds on Friday.
"I found some fun waves and managed to stay concentrated on my heat," Bouaouda said. "My coach told me to let go of the stress and try to focus on selecting the right waves and that's what I did. My last wave saved me, I look forward to surfing more in this event."
Surf Report, official forecaster of the Quiksilver Pro Casablanca, announces a light decrease in swell size for Friday with similar light winds in the morning and medium onshore in the afternoon.
The next call is set to 9 a.m. Friday for a potential start of the remaining heats of the round of 64.