Anat Lelior (ISR) and Andy Criere (ESP) have won the QS1,500 Deeply Pro Anglet in historic fashion today, claiming victory in the Final bouts against Isabella Nichols (AUS) and Vasco Ribeiro(PRT) held in two-to-three foot surf at Chambre d’Amour.
Stop No. 8 of 1 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), the Deeply Pro Anglet has been treated to an abundance of swell on the opening two days and incredible performances by some of the region’s best surfers as well as international traveling pros.
After a rather slow start to the women’s Final with both surfers posting under-average scores, Lelior started building momentum midway through the heat. The Israeli surfer started on a left and put together a nice two-turn combo on her forehand to post a 5.73 and quickly escalated on her backhand this time with a similar combination and more vertical turns for a 6.77.
Lelior built a healthy lead as the current No. 1 on the Qualifying Series Nichols was struggling to find waves with good scoring potential. She eventually did on a clean little right with a 6.50 but with only a minute left in the heat, the Australian was unable to find a second good score to overtake Lelior and the Israeli walked away with her first QS win ever.
“This is the first of many hopefully, go big or go home!” Lelior said. “I’m super happy with the way I surfed this week, trusted my surfing and had fun doing it. It was great to share the Final with Isabella, she’s such a good surfer. I really look up to her and I want to be in her shoes on that number one spot someday. I’m excited to head to Galicia, stoked I could qualify to get in and hopefully I have a good time there too.”
A winner on the Junior tour before, Lelior continues to impress as her road to victory included some of the biggest scores of the entire event, most notably 9+ point rides in Rounds 1 and 2. She also overcame strong competition on finals day as she previously eliminated the defending winner in Anglet Zahli Kelly (AUS). Today’s victory propelled her up to third on the European rankings.
Nichols has had a fantastic start to her 2019 qualifying campaign with big results in Australia as well as the US Open more recently. Though her result today will not count in her season tally, Nichols kept her momentum flowing in Europe and will head to Galicia with valuable jersey time in the water.
“That was a lot of heats in a very short amount of days and definitely a first for me,” she reflected. “Waves were pumping and I really had a lot of fun surfing here this week. Everything has just kind of fallen into place this year for me and I’m just having fun going with all the motions. I love coming to Europe and that’s why I came here basically, it’s great to have such a fun event to build a good base heading to Galicia.”
She had previously dispatched the last remaining French surfer in the women’s event, Tessa Thyssen (FRA) in their Semifinal matchup.
In the men’s Final, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and Andy Criere (ESP) were both previous finalists in Anglet and got a second chance at winning in the French Basque Country. Criere was quick to go big on his first attempt, posting a solid 7.33 on a long left and three turns. He backed it up right away with 5.67 to apply pressure on Ribeiro from the get-go.
The wave selection was clearly on Criere’s side as on the following exchange the goofy foot found three clean sections to push huge turns and post an excellent 9 point ride, further extending his lead. Ribeiro on the other hand started on the following wave of the set but it ran away from him not even offering a single section to hit.
“That was definitely one of my goals this season so I’m happy I could make it happen,” Ado said. “7 titles is something for sure and especially because since I won the first one, the competition has really grown there are more and more girls that win events and they come from everywhere, case and point with Anat winning today for Israel. It’s awesome to still be relevant and I hope I can get more in the future.”
With the completion of the Deeply Pro Anglet, the European rankings have once again been re-shuffled, here is the new current Top 5.
European Men’s QS Top 5:
1 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
2 - Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
3 - Leon Glatzer (DEU)
4 - Vicente Romero (ESP)
5 - Tristan Guilbaud (FRA)
European Women’s QS Top 5:
1 - Pauline Ado (FRA) - 2019 European Champion
2 - Yolanda Hopkins (PRT)
3 - Anat Lelior (ISR)
4 - Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK)
5 - Ellie Turner (GBR)