Ezekiel Lau wins 2017 Billabong Pro Cascais

October 5, 2017 | Surfing
Ezekiel Lau: winner of the 2017 Billabong Pro Cascais | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

Ezekiel Lau claimed the 2017 EDP Billabong Pro Cascais title, after defeating Italo Ferreira in clean three-to-four foot surf at Praia do Guincho, the back-up venue in Cascais.

In the final, both surfers got off to a slow start with medium scores, Ferreira leading the first exchange with a couple of forehand gauges on a clean little left. Lau opted for the forehand as well on a right but couldn't complete his final maneuver.

Facing tricky conditions, surfers decided to go to the air, and while the Brazilian fell on a few attempts, Lau managed to land a good tail whip for a 5.17 to momentarily take back the lead. He then quickly went back to his signature power carves and lay backs for a 6.67 and a stronger hold on the pole position.

Things heated up on the ten-minute mark with an exciting exchange, Lau with a great full rotation and Ferreira on another clean left and a combination of turns, both scores coming in the 6 point range. Lau kept the advantage with the slimmest of margins heading into the final five minutes of the heat.

As time ran out, Ferreira failed to find the required score and Lau claimed his first QS win since 2013 at the VANS World Cup. With the win in Cascais, the Hawaiian will rise up to the 12th spot on the QS, a great position for him coming into the final qualifying stretch on home turf.

"It's the first year I even make a heat here so to be in the final is a huge win," Lau said. "I'm super stoked with everyone supporting me here and everyone back home! It's been a learning year for me, learning about myself and how I like to compete. I just approached every day like it was a normal surf, just with a jersey on, and I love to compete so I just learned to love every bit of it."

Ferreira, who sat three Championship Tour events out on injury earlier this season, came back to winning form in Portugal and reached the final for the first time in two years. The talented goofy foot will carry momentum and confidence heading into the next two CT stops in Europe.

"It was a hard three months to sit out due to my injury, so I'm super happy to be back," Ferreira said. "Congrats to Zeke, he surfed really well and thanks to everyone who came here to support us, the vibe here in Portugal is always awesome. I have a lot of great memories in Portugal with the World Juniors, Peniche and now here so I'm super stoked to come back every time."

The final two QS10,000 events on the 2017 WSL Men's Qualifying Series will be the Hawaiian Pro and VANS World Cup in Hawaii from November 12 - December 5.

2017 EDP Billabong Pro Cascais | Final

1. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.90
2. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.10