SAN CLEMENTE, California/USA (Friday, September 15, 2017) – Silvana Lima (BRA) claimed victory at the Swatch Pro at Trestles in three-to-four foot (1 – 1.2 metre) waves at the famed cobblestone break of Lower Trestles.
Lima’s win over CT Sophomore Keely Andrew (AUS) in the Final came after a thrilling week of competition at Stop No. 7 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The Swatch Pro Final saw a dominant performance from Lima, who claimed a massive win over Andrew by putting her in a combination situation with nearly half the heat remaining. Lima’s showcased her formidable forehand throughout the week and earned two more excellent scores in the Final, an 8.67 and 8.93. Andrew did her best to fight back, but couldn’t find a score greater than a 6.00 to give herself an opportunity to strike back in the final minutes — crowning Lima the 2017 Swatch Pro victor.
“I still can’t believe I won over here,” Lima said. “All I could think about after the last event was coming here to Lowers. It’s my favourite wave on tour because I can surf how I like, do turns how I like and I just had to keep going. Heading into that Final it took me back to my last Final at Bells and I just wanted to smash it. When it came down to the last five minutes having Keely [Andrew] in a combination, I realized I won and couldn’t believe it.”
Lima now moves from No. 15 to No. 13 on the Jeep Leaderboard with her first CT victory since 2010. The CT veteran requalified for the elite tour this year after falling off in 2016 and has found much success on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS). The 32-year-old has struggled to advance out of the early CT rounds in 2017, despite her success on the QS. Now with her fourth CT victory, the Brazilian has reestablished her rhythm CT level.
“It’s just incredible,” Lima added. “I just feel so much confidence and I came here thinking I want to get a Lowers tattoo if I win, so my next one is the train. I just had to believe in God. He knows you, he knows your time and I was just waiting, but this is my time. I’ve gotten so much confidence from the QS and being at the top of the rankings there has really helped me be able to relax and let loose on the CT. All I wanted to do was have fun out there and do my best.”
Andrew’s runner-up finish marks her best CT result so far of her young career after incredible performances throughout the week. The Sunshine Coast, Australia, native’s first CT Final may not have gone as planned, but her run to make it there was nothing short of brilliant after eliminating World Title contender Courtney Conlogue (USA) in the Semifinals to earn one of the event’s biggest upsets. The 22-year-old’s jaw-dropping Quarterfinal heat over Sage Erickson (USA)helped pave the way for her result that sees her amass 8,000 points. The 2016 Rookie of the Year now moves to No. 11 on the Jeep Leaderboard — just one spot from the re-qualification cutoff.
“I was just happy to get into the Semis, but to make it back out there for one more heat and surf Lowers with just one other person out was pretty special,” Andrew said. “Having it against Silvana [Lima] was great. She’s one of my favourite surfers on tour. She’s just so tenacious and I was just happy to assert myself on the tour finally. Yesterday was great being able to put a heat together, and I got two of the best waves of my life at Trestles. I’m feeling good with some good boards under my feet and I just want to keep making heats and be in that Top 10 by the end of the year. My backup plan is in place with my rating on the QS, so it feels good heading into the backend of the year with some opportunity to open up a bit earlier on this season.”
Semifinal 1 saw eventual winner Lima dispatch Californian Lakey Peterson (USA). Peterson, who earned the highest heat total of the event yesterday, was not able to find the same 9-point rides and exits with a 3rd place finish, her best since the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach earlier this year. Peterson now moves from 10th to 8th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
A massive upset unfolded in Semifinal 2 as Andrew took down an in-form Conlogue on her final wave, where she garnered an excellent 8.10 (needing a 7.84). Conlogue did not better her situation on the previous wave ridden to force the issue on Andrew. Conlogue now leaves Lowers with an equal 3rd place finish.
The women now head to Cascais, Portugal where Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) will sport the Jeep Leader Jersey. Conlogue moves to second going into the Cascais Women’s Pro, where she will look for a third-consecutive event win. Now No. 3 Tyler Wright (AUS) is only 400 points behind Fitzgibbons to further heat up the 2017 World Title race.
The next event on the 2017 WSL Championship Tour will be the Cascais Women’s Pro, which will see the world’s best female surfers head to Portugal from September 27 to October 5, 2017.
Swatch Pro Final Results:
1 –Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.60
2 – Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.93
Swatch Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.90 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.60
SF 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 13.43 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.17
2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Swatch Pro at Trestles):
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 45,100 pts
2 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 44,800 pts
3 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 44,700 pts
4 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 39,950 pts
5 – Sage Erickson (USA) 37,150 pts