The Quiksilver Pro France re-started this morning in clean 3Ft surf at the back-up location of Le Penon in Seignosse, South-West France. The remaining seven heats of Round 2 were completed in playful rights and lefts for the pleasure of the capacity crowds who witnessed excellent performances from the World’s Best.
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19, past winner of the Quiksilver Pro France in 2011 punctuated today’s action with an incredible performance, posting the first perfect 10-point ride of the event, for a stratospheric full-rotation aerial on his backhand. The Brazilian prodigy who won the King of the Groms division in 2009 with a perfect heat total of 20, found similarities in the lineup and let his talent show on a fast-running righthander.
“I feel good, I’ve had a couple fun waves,” Medina stated. “Travis was surfing really good so I decided to concentrate on the air cause it’s fun in those small waves, I’m stoked to make it through. It’s cool to watch the King of the groms too now, those guys are ripping and I can relate, I won here a few years ago t’s really cool to see.”
Kai Otton (AUS) 33, was another goofy-footer to advance into the third round today. The experienced Australian exploded on his backhand and surfed a beautiful righthander to perfection netting a 9.17 which he quickly backed up with another excellent score of 8.40. Otton is surfing one of his most consistent season on the World Championship Tour, currently occupating the 12th spot which he hadn’t reached since 2007.
“It was a little bit slow out there, inconsistent conditions on the top of the tide,” Otton said. “I wanted to get busy and I almost made a mistake going on the first wave but it was a two-wave set and I got the better of it, so I’m pretty lucky to start with that 9 point ride. Adam is one of my best buddies I travel with him all year so it’s unfortunate to have a heat with him, but he fought back and got a 9 and I was still really nervous right up until the end he’s realy capable of getting an 8.5. The waves just let him down and it went my way so I’m pretty relieved.”
Michel Bourez (PYF) 27, current World No.10 and the crowd’s favourite today in Seignosse, escaped a tricky Round 2 situation finding two nice waves right from the start and keeping a very short lead over Damien Hobgood (USA) 34, until the final countdown.
“It’s really tough out there, waves are small and inconsistent this morning,” Bourez said. “But we’re lucky to still have waves today, it looks like it’s going to be flat for a few days now. I really want to do good in France, it’s where it all started for me, I beat Kelly and made the quarters as a wildcard here. It’s good to see Marc and Ramzi coming up and surfing great too, I hope they make it soon I need more friends on tour. Leo too, who’s just won the Junior European title I’m stoked for him and I hope he continues to do great.”
Brett Simpson (USA) 28, drew first blood against fellow Californian Nat Young (USA) 22, starting on a beautiful righthander in the opening minutes of their exchange, to perform critical vertical snaps and carves which earned him an excellent 9.10 out of 10.
“Nat’s been on a tear this season, I knew it was going to be tough but I like these little waves, it’s kind of what I surf a lot at home,” Simpson said. “I was able to sneak that first one, we were battling for position and I wanted to get started. Luckily I did and I surfed it well and I finally got in that coveted 9 club, it’s hard on this tour !”
Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 25, survived day 2 of competition at the Quiksilver Pro France, opposed to perennial threat Bede Durbidge (AUS) 30. In his rookie season amongst the Elite, Zietz already locked in two excellent 5th place results and is looking to post another big result to solidify his spot within the Top22 towards requalification for next year’s tour.
“I was definitely scared when I saw him going for the air, but yeah I’m just stoked to get some good waves,” Zietz said. “This is amazing, anyone complaining with the waves today is kind of crazy, this is by far the best QS I’ve ever surfed, I’m just looking at it that way ! Every single contest on the WCT is better, I’m stoked to be on the tour and stoked on my performance, as long as I don’t get last I’m happy.”
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) vs Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs Kieren Perrow (AUS)
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.80 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 16.17
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.03 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.50
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.77 def. Nat Young (USA) 13.33
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 17.57 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 14.83
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) 14.77 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.93
Heat 11: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 17.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.43
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.17 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 17.37