PLAYA DE PANTIN, Galicia â€“ Spain (Sunday, September 1, 2013) - Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 18, has won the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, final stop on the 2013 ASP Women's Qualifying Series. The Victorian surfer claimed her first 6-Star event at the end of an exciting final against fellow Australian Dimity Stoyle in clean 4-5 foot surf at the iconic destination of Praia de Pantin.
Van Dijk let nothing get in the way of her win today, consistently posting scores in the excellent range including several 9+ waves. Battling the powerful offshore winds, Van Dijk displayed commitment and radical maneuvers on her backside.
â€œI feel amazing, I'm so thankful for the support I've had, like my sister's coming with me,â€ Van Dijk stated. â€œI'm so happy I've finally done it! I was so nervous about the whole rankings thing and it's easy to get caught up in all that, so the previous event in France was a bit of a speed bump to my goal, but it kind of made me wake up and realize I could do it without worrying too much and just being myself.â€
With this first place today in Pantin, Van Dijk officially joins the elite ASP Top 17 for next season, a goal she had set herself to achieve for a long time. Having had the opportunity to surf against the World's Best as a wildcard, she will now have the opportunity to surf a whole season amongst top athletes of our sport.
â€œI definitely look up to Steph Gilmore, Carissa, Sally and all of them,â€ Van Dijk admitted. â€œI cannot wait to surf against them again, I've been a wildcard in a couple of events but this time it's for real!â€
Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 21, took runner-up and an overall second place on the World Rankings for 2013, a result that automatically qualifies her for the World Championship Tour as well. After winning a 6-Star event in February, Stoyle had a consistent season and punctuated her season with an excellent second place today in Galicia.
â€œI'm so excited, it's been a busy year and to finish the last event of the year with a final is so great,â€ Stoyle said. â€œI got my first ever win in Newcastle earlier this year and I had to finish it off. Spain is beautiful, I'm so happy and I can't wait for next year! The waves were great today, we definitely scored the best conditions of the event.â€
[Alessa Quizon (HAW)]/athletes/1465/alessa-quizon) 19, netted an equal 3rd place in Pantin consolidating her place in the Top 5 of the World Rankings, synonymous of a World Championship Tour inception next season. Quizon will join forces alongside other fellow Hawaiian big names Carissa Moore, Coco Ho, Alana Blanchard and Malia Manuel when the 2014 season kicks off.
â€œI'm a little bit tired right now, but super stoked that I've made it this far,â€ Quizon commented. â€œAn event win is the only thing missing but hopefully next year I can change that. It all hasn't settled in yet but I'm super excited for next year, I've heard that qualifying now is the best time with all the new changes in ASP and the tour.â€
With a handful of new qualifiers this season, the 2014 ASP Women's WCT promises an extraordinary talent pool from all over the World. The performance standard continues to reach new heights every year and Quizon is looking forward to measure herself against the very best.
â€œI love that there are new faces on tour every year, all the girls are getting better and better and everyone deserves a chance to be on tour, especially the ones that work the hardest for it,â€ Quizon continued. â€œThis year was my first real attempt as the last I had absolutely no points, and I also had to deal with an injury. It's definitely not easy, I worked super hard because it's been my goal to be on tour since I was a little kid.â€
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 17, placed equal third as well, netting the best result of her young career. The Kauai surfer, part of the new generation of rising Hawaiian talent led by Quizon, showed huge potential throughout the week and will be a definite threat to the World's Best in coming years.
â€œI'm really happy to better my last result because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it,â€ Weston-Webb said. â€œI really want to thank the organizers here in Pantin for a great event, I enjoyed my time here but now I'm excited to go home see my family. All the new girls that are going to get on tour are ripping so it's going to be great watching the tour next year!â€
Second and last event on the European Women's series, the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro also crowned our new regional champion, Johanne Defay from Reunion Island. Qualified for the quarterfinals, Defay officially claimed her European Title when her good friend Justine Dupont was eliminated from the Round of 12. Already crowned European Junior Champion, Defay follows in Pauline Ado's footsteps, the only other European to win both Open and Junior titles in the same season.
â€œThat's such a surprise,â€ Defay said. â€œThat wasn't even my goal this year, I've been focusing on the Junior tour because I really wanted to qualify for the World Juniors. I'm so happy to win the European title, I think my wins in the junior events have given me much confidence and I'm stoked that all my hard work paid off.â€