The Coast News Group
Felipe Toledo wins the Oakley Lowers Pro on Sunday at Lower Trestles. Photo by JP Van Swae
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Filipe Toledo wins Oakley Lowers Pro

SAN CLEMENTE —Brazilian Filipe Toledo has won the Oakley Lowers Pro, the first World Surf League (WSL) QS10000 of the 2015 season, after defeating Jeremy Flores (FRA) in a hard-fought 35-minute Final in building 3-to-5 foot surf.

The event saw an array of Championship Tour surfers battling to protect their place in the Top 34 and going head-to-head against up-and-coming Qualifying Series talent fighting hard to join the elite tour.

Toledo becomes the third consecutive Brazilian to win the event, after Gabriel Medina and Miguel Pupo claimed victory in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

“I was definitely super blessed this week and got to spend lots of time with my friends and family,” said Toledo.

“It’s such a good vibe to be with them. I think that’s what happened, I got all their good vibes. I felt super comfortable and confident out there and my boards felt amazing. It was all wonderful and amazing.”

Toledo continued his relentless run of form in the 35-minute Final, with two seven-point rides with just 10 minutes gone, leaving the Frenchman with a modest two-wave total. Another exchange with 13 minutes remaining saw three big turns from Flores for 7.20 and a series of critical maneuvers from the fleet-footed Brazilian for an excellent 8.30.

An exhausted looking Flores took a final wave with 30 seconds remaining but couldn’t produce the 8.93 required and secures a runner-up finish while Toledo claimed the win.

“The start was a little slow but I began with a good wave and that gave me a lot of confidence and then I took more inside waves,” said Toledo. “I think I’ve got the best support ever. I’ve got all my family and friends here so it’s the best feeling in the world. When I finish the wave I hear everyone screaming and it’s really motivating for me.”