Credit: © ASP/ CI/ SCHOLTZ via GETTY IMAGES
SEIGNOSSE, France (Wednesday, September 23, 2009) – Round 1 and the opening four heats of Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France got underway today with the world’s best surfers detonating in punchy three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) peaks at Les Bourdaines beachbreak.
Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France was treated to some fantastic surfing throughout the opening day of the waiting period, with the world’s best surfers letting loose in the playful beachbreaks while the event wildcards stamped their authority as real contenders amongst the ASP Top 45.
Dane Reynolds (USA), 23, current ASP World No. 11, is coming hot off the heals of his best results on the ASP Dream Tour, a 3rd in South Africa and a 2nd in Southern California, and continued to push the limits of high-performance surfing today at the Quiksilver Pro France.
Opening with a blistering 8.83 out of a possible 10 with some rapid-fire forehand surfing, Reynolds then fell behind fellow Venturan Nathaniel Curran (USA), 24, who posted an impressive heat total of a total 15.40 out of a possible 20. Needing a score in the dying minutes, Reynolds detonated another roping righthander for grab and 8.50 and the advancement to Round 3.
“I knew that wave was going to offer up a score for me and all I had to do was surf it as best I can,” Reynolds said. “It had a good wall on it and I was able to do a few turns. It’s too bad for Nathaniel (Curran) as he was surfing really, really well, but I’m sure he’ll do well in his Round 2 heat.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, suffered his first setback in an otherwise near-flawless season last event, finishing 17th in Southern California. While the media speculated that a quasi-serious ankle injury was the culprit in Parkinson’s poor showing, the Australian showed no signs of injury today.
“Everyone has been talking about it (ankle injury) but I haven’t really noticed it,” Parkinson said. “It feels fine today and I feel like I have full movement. Obviously, I didn’t have the result I wanted at the last event, but everyone has a bad one and hopefully I’ve gotten mine out of the way already.”
With extreme tide fluctuations wreaking havoc upon the consistency of the Les Bourdaines lineup, Parkinson effortless posted excellent scores with both backhand and forehand ripping.
“It’s pretty tricky out there but there are definitely some pretty fun ones coming through,” Parkinson said. “It can be tricky with the tide changes. The waves looked really fun this morning, but as the tide’s dropped, some of the good ones are breaking inside and the others are breaking out the back. Looking forward to a few days off now and excited to get back out there.”
Julian Wilson (AUS), 20, led the wildcard charge at today’s Quiksilver Pro France, besting veteran compatriots Bede Durbdige (AUS), 26, and Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, in Round 1 of competition.
“I’ve done a few of these events as a wildcard before and the approach of “just go for broke’ has kind of gone out the window now. I look at these heats as opportunities to establish myself and good training against these guys. I hope to be up at this level of competition in one to two years and this is great experience.”
Joining Wilson in posting Round 1 heat wins today were fellow wildcards Joan Duru (FRA), 20, and Patrick Beven (FRA), 31.
The afternoon saw some electric surfing as Round 2 moved through the opening four heats, and some big names avoided elimination at the Quiksilver Pro France.
Following the close Round 2 victory of former ASP World Champion (2007) and current ASP World No. 2, Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, another former ASP World Champion in C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, survived one of the most exciting heats of the year.
The current ASP World No. 3, who had all nine of his surfboards stolen his first night in France, was comboed by wildcard Alain Riou (PYF), 26, before snapping another surfboard in the powerful Les Bourdaines shorebreak. Grabbing a spare board he had never surfed before, Hobgood returned to the lineup where he proceeded to tube-ride his way out of the combination situation and to a Round 2 victory.
“We all have a breaking point and a lot of things went through my mind and I was just wondering how much worse it could get,” Hobgood said. “I was comboed, my board was broken and I know my back-up one is not even that good. If the ocean didn’t turn on I would have had a nervous breakdown (Laughs). But whatever, I am happy to get through that heat.”
Upsets continued through the final heat of the day with journeyman campaigner Phillip MacDonald (AUS), 30, taking down current ASP World No. 3 Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, in Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France. The powerful Australian man-handled the running lefthanders on his backhand, posting an impressive 16.90 out of a possible 20.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
When competition resumes, up first will be Bobby Martinez (USA), 27, up against 2009 ASP World Tour rookie Drew Courtney (AUS), 30.
Highlights from today’s Quiksilver Pro France will be available at www.quiksilverlive.com
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.67, David Weare (ZAF) 9.10, Chris Ward (USA) N/S
Heat 2: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.67, Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.00, Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.60
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.50, Timmy Reyes (USA) 6.10, Drew Courtney (AUS) 5.83
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 10.16, Heitor Alves (BRA) 7.80
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.10, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 7.14
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.33, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.67, Dean Morrison (AUS) 8.53
Heat 7: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.37, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.03
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.44, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.40, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 7.33
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.53, Alain Riou (PYF) 11.67, Mick Campbell (AUS) 7.26
Heat 10: Patrick Beven (FRA) 11.83, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.54, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.97
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.74, Roy Powers (HAW) 9.00, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 7.50
Heat 12: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.74, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.17, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 7.17
Heat 13: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.33, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 15.60, Jay Thompson (AUS) 6.56
Heat 14: Tim Boal (FRA) 11.30, Michael Picon (FRA) 10.66, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.60
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.17, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 11.87, Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.00
Heat 16: Dustin Barca (HAW) 10.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.34, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 4.63
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.83 def. Gabriel Villaran (PER) 6.30
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Alain Riou (PYF) 14.83
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.33 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.17
Heat 4: Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 16.90 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.13
QUIKSILVER PRO France REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. David Weare (ZAF)
Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Nathaniel Curran (USA)
Heat 10: Mick Campbell (AUS) vs. Michael Picon (FRA)
Heat 11: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 13: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 14: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 15: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Roy Powers (USA)
Heat 16: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)