Veteran Eduard Delpero was inspired and adventurous to roll a heavy-hitting crew in the final. Pic: WSL / Thomas Lodin
Honolua Blomfield racked the only 10. Pic: WSL / Ellis
Harrison Roach ripped into runner-up and is sitting on second as the Malibu final leg looms. Pic: WSL / Thomas Lodin
Fourth place Avalon Gal – sharp. Pic: WSL / Thomas Lodin
France’s smiling assassin Alice Lemoigne. Pic: WSL / Thomas Lodin
30 September 21
So did you catch it live? It was an interesting two days and much more riveting than watching the WSL shortboard events in the Lemoore Pool, which can get a bit samey for mine.
Each surfer was allocated two rights and two lefts each round, with their best left and best right counting.
Several remarked that they were surprised by how heavy and fast that wave is, and obviously it can be challenging on a longboard, even for the best.
The dilemma each heat it seems was do you play it a touch safe and complete the ride, or go for it and risk blowing a precious wave while chasing a point of difference and a couple of extra points on your total. It made for fascinating viewing.
I'm guessing too there was some head-scratching going on while wondering how well particular boards were dialled in for this wave.
Joel Tudor, Taylor Jensen, Harrison Roach, Kai Sallas, Chloe Calmon, Avalon Gal and Soliel Errico were among many who blew at least one on that tube section towards the end of the ride while pushing things a little too far. The gun Justin Quintal, who’d have spent more time in that pool than most, even stuffed up one wave right at the take-off.
Honolua Blomfield scored the only 10 of the two days with a daring switchfoot noseride and deep switch barrel on the left to take the women’s from the precise surfing of Soliel Errico.
Frenchman Eduard Delpero (who seems to have been on the international scene forever) was sharp-as and absolutely ready, nailing adventurous turns, noserides and tubes to keep the sole Aussie Harrison Roach in second - even though he’d racked a 9.33 in the final and was looking a favourite to take it out all event.
All up it was a fascinating couple of days. So next it's Malibu for the decider. – JB
Below is the full press release from the WSL:
LEMOORE, Calif/USA (Wednesday, September 29, 2021) - Honolua Blomfield (HAW) and Edouard Delpero (FRA) claimed respective victories at the Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic in beautiful form. The prevailing winds seen on Day 1 gave way to clean conditions throughout Finals Day as Blomfield and Delpero put on a show to secure big wins. This result gives both victors 10,000 valuable points toward the rankings and their hunt for a 2020/21’ World Title.
An impeccable showcase in the Final from eventual winner Blomfield stunned everyone in attendance with a Perfect 10 on her first left. The 22-year-old’s amazing style throughout the wave and ability to ride switch deep in the barrel to finish it off left fellow finalists Soleil Errico (USA), Avalon Gall (USA), and Alice Lemoigne (FRA) needing a near-perfect ride to catch her.
“This means a lot and it’s one of my favorite wins so far in my career,” expressed Blomfield. “I want to thank Soleil (Errico) for pushing me to pull out all the stops and do what I had to do to win. I’m just so happy to win this event and having so much fun. I’d love to get another World Title but it’s going to be tough with everyone competing so I’ll give it my all.”
The Oahu, Hawaii, competitor slowly built her foundation throughout the day, notching near-excellent rides in each of her heats to keep her Final campaign alive. A marathon day, including six waves, tested the two-time WSL Longboard Champion but her grace under pressure paved the way to a massive win heading into the final event of the season.
Delpero claimed his fourth-career WSL win on a longboard in stunning fashion - overcoming a heavy-hitting Final including reigning WSL Longboard Champion Justin Quintal (USA), style icon Harrison Roach (AUS), and Longboard Tour veteran Kai Sallas (HAW).
The Frenchman earned an excellent 8.33 to begin his Final campaign on the right and backed it up immediately with another impressive 7.67 - finding one of the deeper barrels on the lefthander in the event.
“It’s been super hard work and I’m fully enjoying this victory,” said Delpero. “Congratulations to all the surfers that pushed me to surf that wave at my best. There was definitely a lot of coaching coming from these tents as we had a lot of support. This is great and just so thankful for all of this. I can’t wait to get to Malibu and give my everything at that event and hopefully I can get another big win there if I can keep this momentum.”
The veteran talent notched a spot into the Top 4 after replacing both of his wave on his second run to secure a Finals position, eliminating the three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) from competition.
Delpero’s commitment to the barrel and footwork showcase, along with beautiful carving maneuvers, led him to the top of the rankings heading into Malibu.
A brilliant showing from runner-up, 2020 Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic specialty event winner, Errico set the tone on opening day and she continued raising the level heading into the Final - accruing a near-perfect 9.03 and 16.28 heat total in the Semifinals. Though she couldn’t find that same magic in the Final against Blomfield, the determination of Errico to win her second World Title has set up the Malibu competitor for a chance to claim that title at home.
“I feel really good about my result here and Honolua (Blomfield) held her own out there and did what she needed to do,” said Errico. “I highly respect her for that under pressure. Now I’ll just take this at a good time and try to win Malibu. I’m thankful I live in Malibu, and I know that wave really well so I’m stoked there’s a WSL event there to try and get a World Title.”
Australian talent Roach made a big statement with this runner-up finish and 8,000 points to his name heading in to the final event of the season ranked No. 2. Roach’s jaw-dropping, near-perfect 9.33 put him into the Top 4 with ease just behind Quintal and started his Final with a solid 7.50 on the left to start - but couldn’t find the 8.50 he needed as the last left ran away from him.
“I’m so happy to make it this far and be in those top sort of point ranges,” said Roach. “It’s important in these big events if you want to win a World Title and I certainly want to do that. I would’ve loved to win but I guess I peaked a bit early. Malibu’s a dream wave. Another perfect, long right and it’s great to go into the event with a lot of momentum. All things to be happy about.”
Great finishes from Lemoigne, Gall, Quintal, and Sallas garnered them equal third finishes after powering through a massive day of competition.
Now, these competitors prepare for the conclusion to their 2020/21’ season at the Jeep Malibu Classic presented by Havainas beginning October 3 - 13.
Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic Final Women’s Results:
1. Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 18.50
2. Soleil Errico (USA) 16.47
3. Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 13.10
4. Avalon Gall (USA) 12.34
Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic Final Men’s Results:
1. Edouard Delpero (FRA) 16.00
2. Harrison Roach (AUS) 14.30
3. Kai Sallas (HAW) 10.76
4. Justin Quintal (USA) 8.67
The WSL Longboard Tour is proudly supported by our partners Jose Cuervo, Jeep, Havaianas, Hydro Flask , Athletic Brewing, US Army, Aviator Nation, Firewire, and Flying Embers.