Waves in the 4-6 foot range were on hand at the left-hand point break at Itauna Beach and the Moroccan received the day’s highest single wave score of a 9.80 and went on to score an 18.47 to secure the day’s highest heat-wave total as well.
“I’m so happy. It was really tough, but I was able to get two good waves and I want to thank my team for my conditioning because I needed all my energy to face these difficult conditions,” said Boukhiam.
“It’s my first time here and I caught some strong waves. It sounds like it will be even bigger tomorrow, so I’m happy to remain in the contest.”
Defending champion Matt Wilkinson also began with a heat win to move through to the round of 48.
The event winner receives 6,500 points towards their One World Ranking, where the top 10 surfers qualify for the 2014 WCT.
ROUND OF 96 RESULTS:
Heat 1: 1-Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA), 2-Ezekiel Lau (HAW), 3-Lincoln Taylor (AUS), 4-Manuel Selman (CHL)
Heat 2: 1-Stu Kennedy (AUS), 2-Caio Ibelli (BRA), 3-Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 4-Garrett Parkes (AUS)
Heat 3: 1-Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 2-Davey Cathels (AUS), 3-Andrew Doheny (USA), 4-Hodei Collazo (EUK)
Heat 4: 1-Perth Standlick (AUS), 2-Alejo Muniz (BRA), 3-Nathaniel Curran (USA), 4-Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 5: 1-Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 2-Heath Joske (AUS), 3-Charles Martin (GLP), 4-Halley Batista (BRA)
Heat 6: 1-Dusty Payne (HAW), 2-Marlon Lipke (PRT), 3-Nathan Hedge (AUS), 4-Adrien Toyon (FRA)
Heat 7: 1-Dion Atkinson (AUS), 2-Jadson Andre (BRA), 3-Romain Cloitre (FRA), 4-Gony Zubizarreta (ESP)
Heat 8: 1-Nic Von Rupp (DEU), 2-Jessé Mendes (BRA), 3-Leonardo Neves (BRA), 4-Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 9: 1-Evan Geiselman (USA), 2-Brett Simpson (USA), 3-Jano Belo (BRA), 4-Messias Felix (BRA)
Heat 10: 1-Kolohe Andino (USA), 2-Michael Dunphy (USA), 3-Luel Felipe (BRA), 4-Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 11: 1-Shaun Joubert (ZAF), 2-Mitchel Coleborn (AUS), 3-Hizunomê Bettero (BRA), 4-Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 12: 1-Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 2-Cristobal de Col (PER), 3-Cory Arrambide (USA), 4-Gustavo Fernandes (BRA)
Heat 13: 1-Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2-Kiron Jabour (HAW), 3-Yan Guimaraes (BRA), 4-Billy Stairmand (NZL)
Heat 14: 1-Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 2-Granger Larsen (HAW), 3-Brian Toth (PRI), 4-Torrey Meister (HAW)
Heat 15: 1-Mitch Crews (AUS), 2-Glenn Hall (IRL), 3-Ricardo dos Santos (BRA), 4-Flavio Nakagima (BRA)
Heat 16: 1-Gabriel Villaran (PER), 2-Tomas Hermes (BRA), 3-Miguel Pupo (BRA), 4-Jean da Silva (BRA)
REMAINING ROUND OF 96 HEATS:
Heat 17: Travis Logie (ZAF), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Heitor Alves (BRA), Simao Romao (BRA)
Heat 18: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Chris Ward (USA), Cory Lopez (USA), David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 19: Jay Thompson (AUS), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Matt Banting (AUS), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
Heat 20: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Eric Geiselman (USA)
Heat 21: Damien Hobgood (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Vincent Duvignac (FRA), Kai Barger (HAW)
Heat 22: Adam Melling (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Nathan Yeomans (USA), Gavin Gillette (HAW)
Heat 23: Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Mason Ho (HAW), Luke Davis (USA)
Heat 24: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Dale Staples (ZAF), Yuri Sodre (BRA)