After the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro was put on hold, canceled, and resumed, we finally have the victors. At the 2018 Uluwatu CT, the make-up event for the Margies Pro, rookie Willian Cardoso and Johanne Defay outperformed their competitors and claimed the win.
For Cardoso, this victory was a long time coming and the culmination of 12 years of competing in the Qualifying Series. After a quarterfinal finish in the Corona Bali Protected, the 32-year-old surfer was determined to finish strong but it wasn’t an easy feat. He had to take down powerhouses like Mikey Wright, current World No. 3 Filipe Toledo, and World Title threat Julian Wilson to clinch his first major event win.
“I had to be at my best today. I can’t believe I won!” Cardoso who now ranks fifth in the Jeep Leaderboard. “Today I beat Julian Wilson, Mikey Wright and Filipe Toledo who are all amazing surfers. This is the best day of my life, I have waited so long for this moment.”
And though Julian Wilson did not get his podium finish, his Final’s appearance brings him to the top of the rankings once again, which means he’ll be donning the coveted yellow jersey in Jeffreys Bay.
“It’s been a really long day, and I’m burnt out right now,” Wilson said. “I didn’t get the result I wanted at Keramas last week, so to be able to switch gears and get a runner-up finish here at Uluwatu feels good. I’m not thinking too much about being back on top of the Jeep Leaderboard, it’s nice, but it’s only halfway through the season and there’s a lot heats still to come.”
The women’s event was just as exciting. It came down between Johanne Defay and probably this season’s most consistent surfer, Tatiana Weston-Webb. Defay was clearly the underdog of this battle as Weston-Webb has had stellar performances in the past events with a couple of semifinals and finals appearances. The match was down to the wire with Weston-Webb looking to be in control. In the last minute, Defay found a wave, went to work, and posted a 6.63 to put her total to 13.13, defeating the goofy-footer by 0.46.
“It’s been a strange year for me,” Defay said. “I haven’t gotten the results I want, but I feel like I’ve been surfing good. To win in perfect surf in Bali is a dream come true. Tatiana was surfing so good today. I was expecting her to get 8-point-rides on every wave. In the end, I needed a 6 and it came down to my last wave, I knew it would be close. It was a great wave, but it has some bumps on it and I wobbled through some turns. Luckily for me, it was enough.”
Her win at Uluwatu is the third CT win of her career, and it shot her up six places up to the fifth spot in the leaderboard.
The next stop of the Championship Tour will be at Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open J-Bay on July 2 for the men’s and July 6 for the women’s.
Congratulations Willian and Johanne!
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