Ian Gouveia: landing his board on the Azorean whitewater | Photo: Masurel/WSL

Ian Gouveia and Justine Dupont have taken out the 2016 Azores Airlines Pro, at Monte Verde Beach, in São Miguel, Portugal.

The Azorean event had 6,000 Qualifying Series (QS) points on offer, but the large number of surfers who flew to the archipelago knew they had to face the powerful Atlantic Ocean swell in order to prevail.

The Men's final was held in challenging four-to-six foot surf. Ian Gouveia and Ezekiel Lau only surfed five waves each, but the Brazilian got the best wave and had it backed up by an average score.

"I'm so stoked to keep my good rhythm, after that final in Pantin I honestly just wouldn't have been happy with anything else than a win here. It feels unreal, this is my biggest win ever, and it's going to change my season around for sure," explained Gouveia.

The Brazilian couldn't have had a better start of the European leg. With a top podium finish in the Azores, Gouveia jumps 26 spots and enters the Dream Tour qualification race.

"I tried just to stay on my game and capitalize on whatever opportunity presented itself, if I had a big air section in the final I would have hit it for sure, but it was more a traditional turns kind of heat, and that was fun too. My goal now is to try and keep that rhythm going, do well in Cascais and see what the rest of season brings."

In the women's final, Justine Dupont and Brisa Hennessy both gave their best, but the French surfer landed a floater that proved to be decisive.

"I'm super happy to win again today; I'll get a few more points on my season tally, but most of all this is great for my confidence levels. I started the year well and then had a pretty terrible run through the mid-season before I started training with an awesome mental coach," adds Dupont.

"Since then I haven't done worse than the quarters, so I think that shows I'm getting a lot more consistent and strong. I think I've matured quite a bit and am definitely a smarter competitor now, so fingers crossed all this hard work will continue to pay off for the rest of the season and results will follow."

2016 Azores Airlines Pro | Finals

Men
1. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 12.53
2. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.10

Women
1. Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.50
2. Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 12.13

It produces a characteristic sound that immediately takes us to tropical environments. The ukulele was born in Hawaii but has its roots in Western Europe.

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