|Ella Williams being chaired up the beach after her victory. Image courtesy of WSL|
Ella Williams (Whangamata), 21, has won her maiden World Surf League Qualifying Series event overnight claiming the Women’s Medoc Ocean Lacanau Pro over local surferJustine Dupont (FRA), 24.
The final of the QS1000 event was held in 1.0m lefts and rights on the famed French beach break.
The win comes on the back of a ninth placing at the World Surfing Games in Costa Rica less than a week ago and is likely to elevate her seven places to 22nd on the Qualifying Series rankings.
Williams and Dupont engaged in a tight back-and-forth battle in the fading swell, mainly scoring medium scores in the first half of the final until the French surfer took the first good score of the final, a 6.0 out of a possible ten for the lead.
Williams answered with a very similar ride, on a slightly weaker wave for a 5.43 to stay in the race.
The former World Junior Champion (2013), Williams kept surfing the first waves of each set, reaching the line-up first to keep priority and her choice of wave for most of the final. This lead Williams to catch the wave of the final, a great right-hander where she completed multiple backhand turns for an excellent 8.17 and the win.
“I’m so happy, all year I haven’t had a win so it’s a really nice feeling to get back again,” an ecstatic Williams said.
“The higher tide in our last heat sort of stopped delivering waves but we made the most of it. I was lucky to be in a priority position when that right came through, but I tried to time them and be ready, that definitely paid off. I’ll be moving on to Spain now and will take it heat-by-heat again but it’d be great to get another good result there for sure.”
Williams skips the next event in France heading directly to Spain to focus on the next big QS6000 event which commences on 30th August. Williams will be joined by New Zealand’s top ranked female surfer Paige Hareb (Tara) at the event. Hareb currently sits in 18th place on the Qualifying Series.
For further information please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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