Ariane Ochoa winner in South Africa
Adopting a similar discreet approach as Lindhorst, it was the lone Spanish surfer Ariane Ochoa who quietly took control of the Women's QS 1,000 from the determined Japanese trio of Shino Matsuda, Julie Nishimoto and Ren Hashimoto. Picking up an incredible wave at the start of the heat, the young goofy-footed belted it on her backhand for the highest score of the heat at 8.50 points, and a very much unassailable lead.
Matsuda was chasing hard throughout the final, hungry for the win, and she fought back tenaciously in a bid for victory in Port Alfred. The Japanese seemed less comfortable in the washy low tide conditions while Ochoa looked comfortable and fast out there, bristling with confidence. The conditions remained challenging till the final siren, and despite a few attempts from the Japanese girls, none of them managed to pick up any really high-scoring waves, and victory went to the unassuming Spaniard.
"I always feel really good in this country and I'm super-stoked for the win," said Ochoa, on her second trip to South Africa. "The waves felt a bit like my home, and I like big waves and feel comfortable with them."