- 08 September 2008 | Surfing
Willian Cardoso (BRA), 22, won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic in three foot (one meter) waves defeating Michel Bourez (PYF) in the final man-on-man battle of the week winning 2000 valuable points counting for the international ratings.
Cardoso, who defeated Bourez in tricky conditions, ended a week of high performance big wave surfing after posting some of the event's best scores for his maiden WQS victory.
"I am over the moon right now and I am stoked to get that win," Cardoso said. "It was a week of great waves and I was just feeling good and relaxed. It ends up perfectly for me and today is a special one as I placed second in an event exactly a year ago and I wanted to better that."
Cardoso, who will surf in the upcoming event next week, was impressive all week in the massive ten foot (three meter) waves and it was no surprise to see him grab the title today.
"I like big waves and we had the biggest swell of the summer this week so I was definitely hoping to get a big result," Cardoso said. "I had a tough time this year with an injury that kept me out of the water for two months after an operation and this win definitely puts me back on track for the race. So stoked."
Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, did a remarkable comeback by reaching the final today after a disappointing European leg. Bourez, who posted one of four perfect 10.00 point rides of the event on Day 4 of competition, was on fire all week enjoying the big swell but lacked a last wave in the final encounter and finishes overall second.
"I am happy for William (Cardoso) because he surfed really well in the event and totally deserves to win it," Bourez said. "I could not really hear the scores out there but I knew I had to get a second good wave so I waited for a set but it never came. There was nothing i could do but I am happy with that final."
Bourez, who jumps back to No. 26 on the ratings, will be much awaited at all big events coming up including the Canarian 6-Star Prime rated one and the Hawaiian contests where his shallow-reef experience will be a great assett.
"It is a good moment to get back on track as there is still lots of events coming up and it was time I had a result," Bourez said. "The upcoming events usually suit my surfing well so I will be confident for sure. Nothing is over so I will take this one result as a good start to the end of the year."
Nic Muscroft (AUS) made his way to the Semifinals after a week of impressive performances but was out of rhythm in his battle against Bourez. Muscroft, who posted the two best heat scores of the week including a 19.03 point tally (out of a possible 20), paddled out as a favorite against the Tahitian charger but could do nothing but watch his opponent open the heat with solid scores.
"It was really hard to find the better waves and I saw Michel (Bourez) get his scores deeper at the line-up and it was a bit late when I got mine," Muscroft said. "I have had average results this year and this one will hopefully put me on track for Zarautz. It has been two months of competition in a row and it is pretty hard but this result will help a lot."
Muscroft, rated No. 25 before Pantin, still secured his best result of the summer and remains a serious contender for a possible ASP World Tour inception next year.
Longtime WQS campaigner Antonio Bortoletto (Durban, ZAF) ended up his excellent run in Semifinals placing 3rd overall in the Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic. Bortoletto, who was looking to clinch a second career win since his last one in a 5-Star event in England three years ago, could not better Cardoso's power surfing finishing in need of a combination of waves to catch up.
"This result really is a confidence boost and I am looking forward to the next event," Bortoletto said. "I am pumped up for Zarautz now but still disappointed to miss the final. The conditions changed fast all day and I just tried and unleash as I knew William (Cardoso) was going to post some pretty big turns. It has been a good week of surfing."
The women's division saw Ornella Pelizzarri (ARG), 21, become the woman of the day clinching her maiden ASP WQS title after showing great talent in both massive and small waves throughout the event. Pelizzarri, who bested Justine Dupont (FRA), Amandine Sanchez (FRA) and Marie Dejean (FRA) in a 4-woman final, impressed with her power surfing on Day 1 of competition and found her way out of a tricky final to win
"It was a great event as I love big waves and Day 1 was just perfect for me," Pelizzarri said. "I was happy to paddle out in consistent conditions and the support I get from my sponsors and family including the Beardmore family, made it a lot easier."
Pelizzarri, who was surfing her first event in Pantin, leaves with 875 points and will be heading to Brazil's next Asp WQS 4-Star event confidently.
"I am so stoked to get this win," Pelizzarri said. "I had a disappointng year and this victory is crucial for me. I will be focusing on gaining points to make sure I start 2009 with a good seeding."
ASP Men's WQS 5-Star Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic
Heat: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 16.50 pts Def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.83 pts
ASP Women's WQS 3-Star event
Heat: Ornella Pelizzarri (ARG) 16.77 pts, Justine Dupont (FRA) 15.00 pts, Marie Dejean (FRA) 11.84 pts, Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 10.20 pts