Mick Fanning claimed his second consecutive ASP Dream Tour event, taking out the 2009 Quiksilver Pro France presented by Orange over fellow Finalist Bede Durbidge, in punchy one-to-three foot waves at Les Bourdaines. Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France opted to utilize today’s swell to complete the event given the dismal surf forecast for the remainder of the waiting period. Despite today’s challenging conditions, the world’s best surfers executed well, blending their rapid-fire approach with progressive fin-free and aerial surfing.
Fanning continued to build momentum through the final day of competition before erupting in the Final with a flurry of excellent scoring rides, a 7.83, an 8.83 and a 7.33 in the opening half of the competition. “I was really fortunate to get those couple of good ones at the start because I really ran out of gas there at the end,” Fanning said. “It’s two back-to-back events where I have had to surf four heats on the final day to get the win and it takes a lot out of you. The conditions were deteriorating and I was fortunate to get those scores on the board early on.” Today’s victory marks the second in a row for Fanning, having proven victorious in Southern California last week. The win further cements Fanning in second position on the 2009 ASP World Tour ratings, cutting the distance between himself and frontrunner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, from 936 points (pre-France) to a scant 146 points heading into Spain. “It’s back on,” Fanning said. “Everyone though Joel (Parkinson) was going to run away with it and it’s unfortunate for him that he fell out early, but I’ve put in a lot of work to get these last two wins and I’m just psyched on heading into the rest of the season.”
Tiago Pires (PRT), 29, ASP Dream Tour sophomore, halted what many considered to be the juggernaut of the event when he eliminated reigning nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 37, in the Quarterfinals of the Quiksilver Pro France.
“I’m over the moon right now,” Pires said. “Kelly (Slater) is my favorite surfer and I have so much respect for him. I knew I had to wait for the bigger waves to get the scores to beat him. I’ve had a really tough year, but have been training very hard for this and I’m so happy to get through.” While the Floridian opened up with some fluid-yet-explosive surfing on his backhand to amass a daunting 17.43 out of a possible 20 heat total, it was Pires who would answer back with a 9.57 followed by a 8.13 to take the heat.m “After I put up that first big score, I was still needing another really big one so I knew I had to wait,” Pires said. “Kelly (Slater) likes to stay busy and he keeps getting scores all the time, but I still had to wait for a good one. I had been watching all day and I knew there would be sets so when it came, I just put everything I had into it.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.66
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.87
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.76 def. Patrick Beven (FRA) 12.90
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.43 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.33
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.60
QF 2: Patrick Beven (FRA) 14.86 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.00
QF 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 17.70 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.00 Taj Burrow def. (AUS) 12.33
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.33 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.40
Heat 2: Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.83 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.37
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 11.43 vs. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.30
Heat 4: Patrick Beven (FRA) 14.10 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 12.67
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.23 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.33
Heat 6: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.83 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 9.36
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.40 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00
Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.74 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.40