The best athletes in the world battled out the fierce 4-6 foot barrels pounding La Graviere this morning for the seventh stop out of ten on the ASP World Championship Tour. The intense Quiksilver Pro France heats began with Joel Parkinson (AUS) and event wildcard, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA). Parko didn’t waste any time dropping into barrels on both his backhand and forehand leaving him with a giant score of 18.27 to stamp the highest score of the round. A broken board didn’t stop him from dominating the heat and moving on to the next round.
“I was just looking for a couple corners, and a couple of waves that were like medium scores, so to to find a couple of good ones and get good scores is unreal,” Parkinson said. “I only rode it (a broken board early in the heat) once before I broke it. I just got slammed paddling out and it sort of had a buckle in it, and I knew as soon as I pulled into that first barrel that if I didn’t make it, the board was going to snap for sure. I jumped on a better one and it felt really good.”
Look for Parko as he takes on California native Patrick Gudauskas in Round 3 when the competition resumes.
John John Florence (HAW) took on recovered athlete, Dusty Payne (HAW), in a battle of the Hawaiian natives. Florence skillfully pulled into barrels and boosted for the crowd to advance over Payne into Round 3.
“It was definitely scary (surfing in the elimination Round 2),” Florence stated. “Just going into Round 2 is scary, and coming up against Dusty (Payne) in waves like this, big barrels, I was pretty nervous throughout the whole heat because all he (Payne) needed was a 7 and he could get that in his sleep.”
Though well adjusted to Hawaii’s grueling North Shore, Florence describes the difficulty of the conditions at La Graviere: “It’s really hard to tell which ones are good. I kept pulling in and kept getting lipped on the head and stuff. I’m just going to rest now for tomorrow, hopefully the waves are still fun in the morning.” Florence will take on Taylor Knox (USA) in the next round.
The unexpected upsets of the day included a shocking heat between Taylor Knox (USA) and ASP WCT No. 5, Adriano De Souza (BRA). Knox pulled off two lasting rights back to back, making the rest of the heat look ugly for De Souza.
“It was great out there,” Knox said. “It’s just nice to surf such good conditions. I was so stoked. C.J. (Hobgood) had a really good quote – ‘If you’re standing on the beach and the waves look perfect, you’ve already missed it,” so we got out there and it was a little funky, but turned perfect so hopefully it stays great for for the rest of the day.”
Though De Souza was able to pull off an impressive 9.77 at the very end, it just wasn’t enough to beat out Knox.
“I got slammed pretty good a couple of times,” Knox said. “I really didn’t go far from the beach and I got held down pretty long, but it was a pretty good beating though.”
Just recovering from an injury from the last three months, Kolohe Andino (USA) came back strong against Josh Kerr (AUS) to establish his heat win since the damage.
“Josh (Kerr) is one of the best guys out here in these conditions, so I just had a plan to go out and hunt good tubes, because I was certain he would get some,” Andino said. “I took some beatings out there. It’s super gnarly, but I managed to get a pretty clean right and come out while Josh struggled to find a rhythm. Pumped to get through a heat again and hope I can just keep going.” Next, Andino takes on Australian power surfer, Taj Burrow, in Round 3.
With a perfect 10 point ride and possible injury, an interesting heat between France’s very own Jeremy Flores and Australian World Tour rookie, Yadin Nicol, kept the crowd anxiously guessing. Flores began his heat strong with a solid heat total 12.5 until Nicol scored an incredible perfect 10! All Nicol needed was a 2.50 to move onto the next round over Flores, but simply couldn’t find it anywhere. After being held down for two waves and watching Nicol get barreled to score his perfect 10, Flores took advantage of his priority and kept Nicol away from scoring the necessary points. Round 3 will match up Flores with Kieren Perrow (AUS).
“Waves are fun, but I got a two-wave hold down – I don’t think that’s ever happened to me in my whole life.” Flores said. “I mean, I’ve surfed big waves and that, but after that wipeout (which wasn’t that bad), the wave just held me down. I guess I’m pretty lucky that he didn’t get the second score, but for once I got lucky in a heat and I’ll take it.”
The second perfect 10 of the day was delivered by Australian air show, Julian Wilson, over Aussie Adam Melling.
“The 10 felt really good,” Wilson said. “I spent the first quarter of that heat getting smashed. I got smashed on my first wave and then probably got smashed by fifteen more trying to go back out. As soon as that rip kind of cleared out of the line-up, we saw some really good waves come through… I was really happy to get that first one, get that 10 and then it up. Melling caught a couple, too. He just was unlucky and fell off, but it was cool to surf a heat like that coming to France. It’s so much fun.”
Keep checking back here for updates on the Quiksilver Pro France as competition resumes.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.27 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 2.66
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.00 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.40
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA) 16.80 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.44
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.10 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 4.90
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.50 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.00
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.76 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.90
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.77 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 4.30
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 12: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)