The Quiksilver Pro Casablanca resumed in solid six-foot surf at Anfaplace Shopping Center with occasional bigger sets and challenged all QS campaigners in the men's event while the Roxy Pro Casablanca was called Off for the day.
Fresh off a victory in Azores, Ian Gouveia launched his Moroccan campaign with an incredible performance to re-affirm his current dominant form. The Brazilian belted a near-perfect 9.70 for three highly critical turns on a big left-hander, before claiming the event's first perfect 10 point ride for yet another incredible ride on his backhand.
"There's some solid six foot sets out there breaking so far away, you can't hear anything and you're pretty much on your own, so you only have your watch set on 25 minutes to know what's going on," he admitted. "It's a bit messy but so fun, if you find the open walls there's some good sections for big turns. I'm so stoked to get my first 10 in a QS, that's my biggest heat total ever."
Gouveia took a 26 spots leap up the Qualifying Series rankings last week, courtesy of his win at the Azores Airlines Pro pres. by Sumol and will now face new challenges as he'll battle to stay in the Top10, synonym of a maiden qualification for the prestigious Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
"It's great to come off a win, I've never felt so good competing on the QS and so confident," he continued. "I planned to come here well before I had those two finals and I wouldn't change it, cause it's a great way to keep the momentum, I wouldn't want to take a break now, especially before Cascais. This might be the most important event for me of the whole year so I want to be ready. I've always wanted to come to Morocco, the culture is so different and it's such a nice place, I'm stoked to be here."
With a 15.07 heat total, Basque surfer Imanol Yeregi could have won most of the day's matchups but advanced only second to Gouveia's impossible score to beat. Coming back from a knee injury that kept him out of the water for a few weeks this season, Yeregi looked poised and determined to showcase his excellent surfing today in Casablanca.
"Ian and I got some really nice waves, the right was really fun and had plenty of wall to surf, I got one and did two big turns which got me my 8.57," he said. "I guess we were lucky cause that wave was just there for the heat and then disappeared. I'm feeling 100% now and am really happy with my boards so I hope I can keep surfing like that and make a few more heats, my goal is to improve my ranking to enter some bigger events next year."
Birthday boy and local hero Ramzi Boukhiam celebrated with a heat win to start with on home-soil and walked in to a crowd of locals wanting selfies, journalists filming and recording his every word and family members congratulating the young Moroccan.
"It's really cool to start like that, I haven't got my boards yet but found an old Bradley that works well so I'm stoked," he commented. "Waves were tricky but I'd rather have that than small or flat surf, I managed to get a decent first wave and that allowed me to sit patiently for a better one. My friends, family and all the public here are supporting me so I feel great!"
Reigning World Junior Champion Lucas Silveira easily clinched his own ticket to Round Three and continued to dominate in his European campaign maintaining the good form that landed him two quarterfinals and a final in the past few weeks.
"There were heaps of waves and I think we were lucky to surf around the high tide, it seemed a little bit better," he analyzed. "I'm stoked to get that first round win with some good scores and am really looking forward to the next ones. We had a long break before the next event and it made senses to come here, I love it here so far the tajine, couscous and tea are really good and I'm having a great time."
Surfers and organizers will meet again at 9:30AM Thursday to re-assess conditions for a potential re-start of either the men or women's event.
MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for "Swell starts to drop towards the head high range but with persistent fresh onshore winds." for Thursday.