Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) takes her first CT victory with a win at the Cascais Women’s Pro.

Location: Cascais, Portugal | Event window: September 26 – October 5, 2017 | Today’s call: Nikki Van Dijk wins Women’s Event, Men’s Semis decided | Conditions: Wind-affected six foot surf

Nikki Van Dijk(AUS) has won the Cascais Women’s Pro, Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), to claim her first ever CT event win. Van Dijk battled three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in an exciting 35-minute final at the back-up venue of Guincho. Today’s victory sees Van Dijk become the first surfer from Victoria, Australia to win a CT event since Tony Ray won the the Lacanau Pro in 1992. The twenty two year old will now jump up two places from 7th to 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard, just 350 points behind Sage Erickson (USA) in 4th place.
“I have jelly legs, everything is jelly but I’m just so happy, it was so close at the end but I think I’ve won! It’s wild and woolly out there. I was scrambling around at the end because I knew Carissa [Moore] only needed a small score so I was wanting to better my score too. Carissa can get 8’s and 9’s in her sleep but it was really hard at the end. I like the feeling of this so let’s keep it going. I’m just going to enjoy this moment. This is literally what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.”
Nikki Van Dijk

Van defeated big names to reach the final today, including Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Quarterfinals and Jeep Ratings Leader Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Semifinals. Van Dijk has two previous CT Semifinal finishes under her belt (Rio in 2017 and Trestles in 2016) but today mark’s her first appearance in a CT Final.The Final saw Van Dijk charge to an early lead by building a 10.17 combined heat total in the opening ten minutes.
Moore came back with a bang and posted a 7.83 on her backhand to close the gap on her opponent but the young Australian responded and increased her lead, leaving Moore in need of a 2.84. The three-time WSL Champion spent the remainder of the 35 minute bout chasing down a score. Moore took a wave in the final minutes but the score fell short, with a 2.27, and Van Dijk took the win.

Sally Fitzgibbons

Lakey Peterson

Carissa Moore

Moore broke past the Quarterfinals today for the first time this season with her runner-up finish and dispatched Sage Erickson (USA) and Malia Manuel (HAW) before taking on Van Dijk. After a disappointing season so far Moore came into the event in 9th place on the Jeep Leaderboard but leaves with her best result of 2017 and moves up to 7th place.
“It’s been an up and down year so I’m so stoked just to make it past the Quarterfinals, the Final was just the cherry on top of a great day. Things are really changing out there. I know I only needed a two-something but sometimes those scores are the hardest to get. I’m really looking forward to France and having a lot of fun there.”
Carissa Moore

Malia Manuel

Sage Erikson

Jeep ratings leader Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) was defeated by eventual winner Van Dijk in Semifinal 1. The shock upset sees Fitzgibbons take home a third place finish but she will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey and increase her lead over her closest rival Courtney Conlogue (USA)heading into the next event on the CT, the Roxy Pro France. Fitzgibbons and Van Dijk were neck and neck through the closing minutes of the heat but Van Dijk edged the win by just 0.16 to eliminate her more experienced competitor. Malia Manuel (HAW) was defeated by Moore in an all-Hawaiian Semifinal match-up and secured her best CT Result since the Vans US Open of Surfing last season. Following a four-event absence due to injury Manuel looks to be regaining her form and today’s result sees her climb up one place on the Jeep Leaderboard to 14th.

The EDP Billabong Pro Cascais ran in between women’s heats and completed the fifth round of competition as well as the man-on-man Quarterfinals to set up for an exciting finish on Thursday morning at Guincho.Competitors and event officials will reconvene at 9 a.m Thursday in Guincho for the final call of the EDP Billabong Pro Cascais. Highlights from the the Cascais Women’s Pro are available from, the WSL app and on the WSL’s Facebook page.

The next stop on the 2017 WSL Championship Tour is the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France, which gets underway on October 7, 2017.

1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.67
2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.10

SF 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.66 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.50
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.50 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 6.50

QF 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.50 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 7.67
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.66 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.10
QF 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.60 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.83
QF 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.37 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 9.60

2017 Women’s WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Cascais Women’s Pro):
1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 51,600
2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) – 48,100
3: Tyler Wright (AUS) – 46,450
4: Sage Erickson (USA) – 42,350
5: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) – 42,000

Photos: WSL