After days chock full of fun-sized waves, high-performance surfing, close heats, a re-surf, and a handful of strange-yet-warranted claims, the Swatch Pro and Hurley Pro Trestles champs have been crowned.
For the women, it was 32-year-old Silvana Lima, taking her first win in nearly 7 years. If there was an underdog in this event, it was definitely the lone Brazilian surfer on the Women's Tour. She hasn't won a final since 2010, has struggled with major sponsorship throughout the years, and has pocketed a few unlucky Round Two finishes in 2017. But the waves were on her side today. The conditions this morning were glassy, albeit sleepy, but when the waves did come through the lineup, they allowed Lima to open up and go for big scores—which she did.
After taking down an in-form Lakey Peterson in the semifinals, Lima opened up the finals with what seemed like a bit of nerves. She went down on her first two rides, but quickly shook the butterflies and out-maneuvered Keely Andrew on the next two waves. As the Brazilian contingent and the Sharp Eye crew cheered for her in the competitor's area, Lima quickly extended her lead and combo'd Andrew halfway through the finals. By the end of the heat, she was sitting higher on the rankings with an additional 10,000 points and $60,000 in her pocket.
“I came here and just wanted to enjoy myself,” said Lima during her interview with Rosie Hodge. “When I started surfing how I like and turning how I like, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, let’s keep going.’ My boards felt so well and I had so much confidence over here. But I still can’t believe it.”
Unlike Lima's slow-but-steady finals performance, Filipe Toledo started the men's final with an effortless full rotation in the opening minutes. The maneuver only earned him a 4.67, but it got him an early lead on Jordy Smith. While Toldeo made good use of mediocre waves, chucking his fins into the flats and throwing in cheeky disco floaters, Smith sat out the back waiting for a set wave. At about the 15-minute mark, Smith finally nabbed what he was looking for and let loose on an idyllic righthander, earning himself a 9.00-point ride. As the heat rounded into the final minutes, and as the waves started to flatline, a wonky right made its way through the lineup in the dying seconds. But it wasn't enough for Jordy to get a good backup score, and Toledo took home his first Hurley Pro Trestles win.
“It's a really special moment right now,” said Toledo of his win. “I've always been stopped in the semis. Now going to the finals and beating Jordy, [who] beat me last time, it’s an incredible feeling. In all of my heats, I noticed the sets were super slow, so I decided to go for that strategy: keep busy and get waves. Jordy sat there and got a 9, and he couldn't get the second score. But that was my strategy, and it worked. Thank god.”
Going into the final leg of the season, Toledo is the only surfer to have two wins under his belt and now has his sights set on entering the title conversation.
“It's definitely my main goal,” said Toledo. “It feels really amazing to be the only guy to win two events…I think it’s going to be one of the craziest [title races] going into the final events.”
[Photos by Ryan “Chachi” Craig]