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Alex Ribeiro and Mahina Maeda Win 2018 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca Titles

Highlights: Champions Crowned in Casablanca
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The Anfaplace Pro Casablanca crowns its 2018 Champions in good little waves on Day 5.

The men and women's QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca wrapped up in clean two foot surf at Anfaplace and crowned the 2018 Champions. Here's a breakdown of the event's finals.

Men's Final: Alex Ribeiro vs. Weslley Dantas

Ribeiro started early and strong with a similar combination on a left he's been displaying all week. A snap, a couple of carves and a lay back to finish it off for a 6.00. Dantas' first few attempts were unsuccessful but Ribeiro found a good right and did a massive first turn, a little speed check and a good closeout re-entry for a 7.67 to combo his opponent.

On the twenty-minute mark, Dantas finally found a section to work with on the lefts and went to his signature forehand rotation for a 6.63 to get back in the heat. But Ribeiro answered with a similar air and a more complete wave to post a 7.27 and extend his lead. Under priority, Ribeiro continued to exploit all the waves he came across and found an even better 7.83.

Dantas sat patiently waiting for the right wave and it came on the ten-minute mark. The goofy foot started with a big, powerful carve and pumped his way through the flat sections to throw a full rotation in the shorey for an 8.33. As time ran down, Dantas couldn't find another big ramp and Ribeiro claimed the win in Casablanca.

"I'm super stoked to take the win today," he said. "I felt right at home this week, that wave feels extremely similar to my home break and I had a good mojo this week, all the right waves just kept coming to me. It was awesome to make the final against Weslley, he's on fire and he wasn't easy to beat!"

Alex Ribeiro (BRA) .Anfaplace Pro Casablanca 2018 Alex Ribeiro (BRA) WSL / Laurent Masurel

It's the Brasilian's sixth victory on the Qualifying Series, and the 1,500 points added today to his season tally will move him up around the 15th spot, with a couple majors events left in the season.

"These points may not count in my overall ranking at the end but winning definitely helps getting in the right head space for the big events coming up," he added. "I had a blast for my first time here, people were very nice to use and we had great waves all week. "

Dantas who claimed a first-ever QS win last week in Pantin couldn't keep his perfect record up but posts another big result and will rise a few more spots on the QS ladder.

Weslley Dantas (BRA) .Anfaplace Pro Casablanca 2018 Weslley Dantas (BRA) WSL / Laurent Masurel

"I had a good strategy and was focused but I did make a couple of priority mistakes in that Final," he admitted. "I'm still very happy with a runner-up and I hope I can keep it up. I really like this place and the waves were super fun. I'll be back next year cause I really want to win it!"

Ribeiro previously came out victorious of a tight battle with South Africa's Dylan Lightfoot while Dantas defeated Santiago Muniz in the semis.

Women's Final: Mahina Maeda vs. Tessa Thyssen

The Final was an interesting opposition of strategies from both surfers. Thyssen and Maeda sat about 100m apart on two very different peaks at first. The French surfer chose to stick to the peak that worked in all four semis, while Maeda sat on the north peak, which has worked at high tide the previous few days.

Unfortunately for the Hawaiian, the south option seemed a lot more prolific as Thyssen found long rights with a clean wall to lay down her backhand turns and post two scores above 6 for a strong lead. Maeda's 4.33 was a lonely score for most of the Final, until the former World Junior Champion found a good right of her own on the five minute mark.

Mahina Maeda (HAW) .Anfaplace Pro Casablanca 2018 Mahina Maeda (HAW) WSL / Laurent Masurel

With a 6.97 on the board now, the highest score of the final at that point, but still sitting in second, the Japanese surfer finally chose to move towards her opponent's peak. With under 30 seconds on the clock, Maeda found a good little left and carved the wall with three turns to incredibly turn the heat on the buzzer and take her career's third win on the Qualifying Series.

"I'm really happy with this win," she said. "My winnings here are really going to help my campaign for the upcoming events. I made a huge mistake going to that north peak but thankfully I got really lucky to find that first good wave. I surfed my best and thankfully it worked at the end with that last wave. There isn't a single Japanese surfer who's made it on tour yet so I want to be that surfer and hopefully I can pull it together in the last couple of events and make it happen."

The Hawaiian-born surfer now representing Japan will climb up a couple more spots to No.15 on the QS, her best ranking since 2015 where she almost qualified, in 11th position.

"I'm really happy for Tessa to make the Final," she continued. "She's a great surfer and she deserves to win events for sure. She's also struggling financially and I hope a lot of people donate to her fundraising campaign so she can continue to surf in all the events and really have a shot at qualifying."

Tessa Thyssen (FRA) .Anfaplace Pro Casablanca 2018 Tessa Thyssen (FRA) WSL / Laurent Masurel

Thyssen had previously won four heats straight but her excellent Casablanca campaign came to an abrupt end in the dying seconds of the Final. The French surfer virtually made no mistakes but unfortunately all it took was a final effort from the Japanese to prevent her from claiming a first-ever win on the Qualifying Series.

"I truly thought I had won that Final so it's a massive disappointment," she said. "I feel like I've done everything right so to end up losing unfortunately it feels like I wasn't even in that Final."

Maeda had previously defeated Garazi Sanchez-Ortun in their semifinal bout while Thyssen dispatched Minami Nonaka in their matchup.

With the completion of the QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca, the European rankings are now final, here's the 2018 Top 5:

European Men's QS Top 5:
1 - Jorgann Couzinet 2018 European Champion
2 - Ramzi Boukhiam
3 - Gatien Delahaye
4 - Andy Criere
5 - Aritz Aranburu

European Women's QS Top 5:
1 - Pauline Ado *2018 European Champion
2 - Cannelle Bulard
3 - Garazi Sanchez-Ortun
4 - Camilla Kemp
5 - Juliette Lacome

The final event on the 2018 European Qualifying Series will take some of the best surfers in the World to the iconic righthand point break of Ribeira D'Ilhas in Ericeira from September 24-30 for the men's QS10,000 EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira

Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here from September 4-9, 2018!

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