It was a fairly brutal day for most of the usual suspects as action got underway at the ‘08 Quiksilver Pro France today. The call was made to run the event this morning as the approaching swell began filling in overnight. Wave size was in the 2-4 ft. range with absolutely beautiful weather conditions (in the morning anyways) in Hossegor.
Although both needed to make it at least to the semifinal round in order to guarantee that Kelly Slater has no chance of clinching the world championship in France, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning find themselves on the outside looking in following surprising Rd. 2 losses.
After falling to rookie-phenom Dane Reynolds in Rd. 1, current world no.4 Joel Parkinson was sent out of the event for good at the hands of Tahitian wildcard surfer Michel Bourez. This took place just moments after seeing fellow Coolie-kid and reigning world champ Mick Fanning be eliminated by injury replacement surfer Gabe Kling in the previous heat. “Mick has been one of my favorite surfers and I can’t really believe that happened,” Kling said. “It was so hard out there and him needing that small of score… I just got lucky but I’ll take it. I’m stoked to win though, he’s a reigning world champion.”
Andy Irons finds himself in a do-or-die Rd. 2 match-up against Brazil’s Jihad Khodr once action resumes tomorrow. It’s still super hard to tell what is going on with the 3x champ from Hawaii. Although the conditions were shifty and inconsistent, the 3x winner of this event threw up a meager 2.34 in a first round heat that saw Jordy Smith make his way to Rd. 3. I’m not gonna lie, A.I. is far and away one of my all-time favorite surfers to watch and is honestly just too damn good of a surfer to perform that way. Maybe he’s ready to go the way of his brother Bruce and resign from full-time WCT status, perhaps there’s an injury or something else going on, but here’s to hoping the only surfer to put fear into the mind of Kelly Slater can get back to the surfing that has made him one of the all-time greats to ever set foot on a board.
Speaking of Slater… he struggled at the beginning as well today, as he went down in his 1st round heat to wildcard contestant Joan Duru. His Rd. 2 match-up versus U.S. Open runner-up Tim Boal saw Slater battling from behind for most of the round. However with a late 9.0 score, Slater moved on to Rd. 3 and kept his hope of clinching #9 in France alive and strong. “This is a tough place for a contest,” Slater said. “It’s really amazing that Andy won this contest three times and got a second the year before that because the waves change so much and it really is the luck of the draw out in those heats. The guy who gets the best waves is going to win and it happens a lot here at this contest.”
And don’t think for a second Kelly doesn’t know right where the race for the world championship stands. Even he admitted the thought of clinching may have been creeping into the back of his mind. “It probably just has my head a little bit – thinking about it,” Slater said. “It’s hard to get that monkey off your back, thinking you had the chance to do something like that. I guess I have been thinking about it a little bit over the last week and I just haven’t gotten in sync so far. That heat I felt pretty good, still not great, but I got a couple of good scores – those lefts panned out for me and allowed me to get a couple big moves.”
With the swell expected to continue increasing, Rd. 2 is likely to resume tomorrow morning. The official call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7:30. You can peep the action HERE.
Here are the rest of today’s results from the Quiksilver Pro France…
Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.67 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.07 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.00
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.67
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 9.44
Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.84, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.06, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 8.6
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.13, Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.2, Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.1
Heat 3: Roy Powers (HAW) 13.6, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.56, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.9
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.97, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.63, Andy Irons (HAW) 2.34
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.40, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 5.83
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.50, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.84, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.50
Heat 7: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.30
Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.50, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.94, Chris Ward (USA) 9.90
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.50, Tim Boal (FRA) 5.77
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.5
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.94, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.67, Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.34
Heat 12: Daniel Wills (AUS) 16.17, Heitor Alves (BRA) 4.74, Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.77
Heat 13: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.80, Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.10
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.63, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.10
Heat 15: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.44
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.66, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.34, Luke Munro (AUS) 7.76