Slater Finishes Second at Quiksilver Pro France
Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 38, finished runner-up at stop No. 7 on the ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France, behind defending ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, in firing six-to-eight foot (2.5 metre) barreling beachbreak.
The Quiksilver Pro France, the first of two European events on the ASP Dream Tour, saw massive barrels detonate the main event site of Culs Nus beach, allowing the event to end in dramatic fashion.
Slater, who won the last ASP Dream Tour event, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, retained momentum throughout the Quiksilver Pro France in the epic French conditions, making his second consecutive Final appearance to further his current status as No. 1 on the ASP World Tour rankings. The result increases his chances of a 10th ASP World Title.
“This is what we live for,” Slater said. “This is insane. There are the craziest waves out there. They’re out there. You don’t want to get 6s, you want to get 10s.”
The surfing icon posted the only flawless 10 point ride in Quiksilver Pro France competition, threading the needle on a giant barrel in his Semifinals heat to advance into the Final matchup against Fanning.
“It wasn’t one of those classic waves,” Slater said. “It was a little wonky at the start and I was waiting for it to hit the shallow part of the sandbar. I grabbed as hard as I could at the top of the wave to slow myself down, but my fins released and I ended up slipping down the face on the nose of my board. I thought I had blown it, but as I got to the bottom, my fins caught and I could reset my line and it worked out.”
Unfortunately for Slater, he was unable to find a rhythm in his Final bout against Fanning, scoring an uncharacteristically low 6.74 heat total, but his runner-up finish furthers his ratings lead over the field.
“Ouch,” Slater said. “It was really difficult out there and I didn’t get much aside from a few poundings. Congrats to Mick (Fanning) for finding a couple of scores out there.”
Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 25, earned the best result of his young career, finishing equal 3rd to launch the Californian from 28th to 20th on the ASP World Tour rankings.
“These are the best waves I have ever surfed in a contest,” Simpson said. “My heat this morning was magical, and then this afternoon, I couldn’t find a wave to save my life. It’s okay though. It’s my best result of my career. I’m stoked to finally put a decent result on the board and hopefully I can continue that momentum into Portugal.”
The next stop on the ASP Dream Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, will kickoff both men’s and women’s competition from October 7 through 18, 2010.
For additional information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
Current American’s ASP World Tour rankings:
1 – Kelly Slater
5 – Dane Reynolds
13 – C.J. Hobgood
14 – Damien Hobgood
18 – Bobby Martinez
20 – Brett Simpson
24 – Taylor Knox
26 – Patrick Gudauskas
35 – Gabe Kling