And then there was Taj…
With Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning taking early Rd. 2 exits at the Quiksilver Pro France, Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow were left as the only two surfers who could essentially prevent Kelly Slater from winning his unprecedented 9th world championship in Hossegor. With Bede’s Rd. 3 loss at the hands of Michel Bourez today, Taj is now the only surfer blocking the path to #9 for Kelly if he pulls off the victory at the Quik Pro.
There really wasn’t a whole lot Bede could do as the wildcard Bourez was absolutely on fire throughout their heat. Another one of Tahiti’s amazing surfers looked right at home on on the 3-5 ft. beach break. Bourez posted a near perfect score of 19.57 on his way to ending Durbidge’s run in France.
Taj is continuing to surf as well as he ever has on tour and posted a Rd. 3 victory over Gabe Kling. His surfing appears almost flawless right now and his Firewire boards seem to really be on point and working well for him. It’s almost a shame that he’s performing so well in the same year that Kelly Slater decide to go mental on everyone else.
Speaking of which, Kelly posted another one of his come from behind victories with his win over France’s Joan Duru. Kelly has struggled with the wildcard surfers this year and really had to put in some work to avenge his Rd. 1 loss to Duru. Slater’s run continues with a Rd. 4 match-up against his good friend and fellow long-time tour veteran Taylor Knox.
In a heat that will go a long way in deciding ’08’s Rookie of the Year honors, Dane Reynolds once again took out Jordy Smith in the battle of highly-touted surfing phenoms. Watching these two surf against each other is always exciting and will likely be that way for years to come. While at times on tour it appears that Dane would rather be somewhere else, he really seems to light up for his heats versus Jordy. Hopefully this will be the case for Dane’s Rd. 4 upcoming heat versus Taj.
The swell at Hossegor is forecast to drop slightly, but conditions are actually expected to improve. The word from Quiksilver is that tomorrow will be the final day of competition and a winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France will likely be decided. The way things are looking, we may also have a crowning of the 2008 ASP world champion. Stay Tuned!
Posted by Shaun on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 in Surfing.