Algarvian surfer Yolanda Sequeira, the newly acclaimed national champion, won her first career victory on Sunday in a race of the world qualifying circuit, triumphing in the QS1000 held at the British beach of Fistral.
This was just a second victory for a Portuguese surfer on the WSL Women's World Qualifying Circuit (WQS) after Carol Henrique was the first to make it to the highest podium spot of 2017 in Zarautz, Basque Country.
A week after the national title party, the young surfer from Quarteira, just 21 years old, now celebrated out of doors.
To reach the top of the podium, Yolanda first eliminated the Canarian Melania Suarez Diaz in the quarterfinals, turning the heat around with the last wave that surfed. Then, in the semi-finals, she beat New Zealand world champion Junior Ella Williams of 2013 thanks to a very solid performance that ended with a score of 13.33 on 20 possible points.
In the grand finale, the Portuguese surfer faced North American German Rachel Presti, ISA world champion in title.
Yolanda had a strong drumming start and until the end managed the advantage in the best way, winning the championship with 12,16 points, against 8,54 of the opponent.
This result – totaling 1000 points – will allow the Algarve surfer to approach the world top-60, which puts her closer to ensuring direct entry to the main events of the circuit.
But the Portuguese army also had a highlight in the men's race, with two surfers reaching the final podium and one of them, Pedro Henrique, seeing the victory escape in the final moments.
This was the first test of the WQS summer European leg. The Portuguese are now heading to France, where next Tuesday starts a QS1500 in Lacanau, in southwest France.