HOSSEGOR/SEIGNOSSE, Southwest Coast/France (Saturday, September 27, 2014) – Les Gardians delivered pristine three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves for the world’s best surfers today as nine heats of the Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 were completed as well as the deciding of the Roxy Pro France Quarterfinalists.
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time ASP World Champion and current World No. 2, posted an early victory over dangerous wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA) to advance into Round 3. At 42 years of age, Slater continues to push the limits of high-performance surfing and will look to gain ground on current frontrunner Gabriel Medina (BRA) with a big result in France.
“I’m nervous about each heat now,” Slater said. “The pressure is on me to perform and to win events if I want to catch up to Gabriel (Medina). I’ve been coming to France to surf for 25 years now and I’m about as comfortable as one can get. It’s about adaptability. The tide, waves, wind, banks and general conditions are always changing so you’re never overly confident. The guys who have surfed well here over the years, like Mick (Fanning) and Andy (Irons), have figured that out.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time ASP World Champion and current World No. 4, faced off against a difficult wildcard of his own in Matt Banting (AUS). Banting is the current ratings leader on the ASP Qualification Series (QS) and will likely join the world’s elite in 2015.
“I’m feeling good and focused, but you can never discount the conditions here in France nor an opponent like Matt (Banting),” Fanning said. “Fortunately the waves cooperated and we had good surf for the heat. My surfing is feeling strong and boards feel good, but we really can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
John John Florence (HAW) continued to impress with his aerial repertoire and go-for-broke approach to competitive surfing. The Hawaiian executed a number of dynamic and powerful turns to dispatch of Raoni Monteiro (BRA) and advance through to Round 3.
“The waves were super fun for our heat out there,” Florence said. “You never know what you’re going to get in France with the conditions for your heat, but we had really racy righthanders that were good for turns and airs.”
Kolohe Andino (USA), current ASP World No. 9, lost a close Round 1 heat yesterday, but the high-flying Californian put on an impressive display in today’s Round 2 over compatriot Brett Simpson (USA).
“I felt like I got a bit underscored yesterday and there was some debate over whether or not I was completing the maneuvers,” Andino said. “I made sure there was no confusion today. Super fun waves though and hope for more tomorrow.”
Travis Logie (ZAF), current ASP World No. 31, delivered the first upset of the event this morning in eliminating high-rated Nat Young (USA). Logie’s speed-based precision backhand served him well in his advancement into Round 3.
“It’s a crucial part of the season for me,” Logie said. “I’m in need of a result, but I feel confident in Europe and hope to climb the ratings before the leg is finished.”
The Roxy Pro France, Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, completed Round 4 this morning, locking in the Quarterfinalists for a potential finish tomorrow.
Johanne Defay (FRA), 2014 ASP Women’s World Tour rookie, took on compatriot Pauline Ado (FRA) in front of a passionate home crowd this morning. While her elder opponent found opportunity in terms of waves, it was Defay’s power-based approach that earned her the win.
“The support I have received from home and now at home this year has been very appreciated,” Defay said. “It’s a dream to be surfing at this level in front of my family and supporters and I’m very happy to be into the Quarterfinals.”
Defay was joined by fellow rookie Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) in advancing through to the Quarterfinals.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), five-time ASP Women’s World Champion, was electric in her Round 4 match-up against Lakey Peterson (USA), putting a hypercharged approach to work in the clean morning conditions.
“Lakey (Peterson) is a tough opponent,” Gilmore said. “We saw her take out Carissa (Moore) last week at Trestles so I definitely wasn’t taking her lightly. Since Trestles, I feel like I’ve been surfing well. I have a good batch of boards with me and I’m feeling more in rhythm. If there’s opportunity for me to gain ground here in France, I want to do it.”
Gilmore will face reigning two-time ASP World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Roxy Pro France Quarterfinals when competition resumes.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Quiksilver Pro France, are calling for:
Reinforcing swell due for the weekend holds into Monday before fading into mid next week. Another, potentially stronger, shot of swell is expected for late next week.
Highlights from the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France will be available at ASPWorldTour.com
Quiksilver Pro France Round Results (1st advances to Round 3, 2nd Finishes Equal 25th) :
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.84
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.70 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 9.43
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.83 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.97
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.10 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 9.97
Heat 5: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.74 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.00
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.07 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 9.20
Heat 7: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.13 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.90
Heat 8: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.93 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.77
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.03 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.60
Remaining Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Running in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro France is Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Roxy Pro France:
Roxy Pro France Round 4 Results (1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd finishes Equal 9th):
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.77 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.66
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.66 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 10.07
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.17 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.70
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.60 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.33
Roxy Pro France Quarterfinals Match-Ups (1st advances to Semifinals, 2nd finishes Equal 5th):
QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
QF 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
QF 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)