Today’s swell seemed to please athletes competing in the Quiksilver Pro France 2012 as overhead barrels funneled the event into the Semifinals. Another day of upsets unfolded as the event moved from Round 3 to the Quarterfinals, featuring the world’s best surfers in epic conditions at La Graviere.
11x World Champion, Kelly Slater (USA), managed to end the day with a near perfect heat score of 19.93 as the sun set over the La Graviere break.
“The waves are so good, that literally both guys can get two 10 out there right now; there are that many good waves,” Slater said. “I was throwing away better waves than I’ve had all contest – it’s just pumping. The color of the sky and everything came together, the wind, the swell and the tide was perfect for the size… it was really nice. These are some of the best beachbreaks in the world right here.”
The Semifinals will host an exciting heat between ASP WCT No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS) and No. 3 Kelly Slater.
“I won’t even think about the Semifinal against Joel much,” Slater said. “You know, it’s pointless to think about; you get to sit there all night and not sleep. It’s an important heat for both of us and whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”
Parko dominated his heat against defending Quiksilver Pro France 2011 winner, Gabriel Medina (BRA), to secure his position in the Semifinals.
“That was sick… it was unreal,” Parkinson said. “That’s what you dream of when you’re trying to make the tour. You just want to have a nice heat in France at La Graviere when it’s pumping. There were so many good waves out there and I wished I could have surfed for an hour.”
Parkinson held his spot on the northern end of the competition area to be in the best position against Medina, scoring himself a solid 10-point right.
“There was a big rip between us and there’s no point getting involved in that, so I just left him alone and he left me alone, and I’m glad the waves came down my way and not his,” Parkinson said. “That 10, I was wondering if it was a close-out or there was a doggy-door. The soul arch in there, I was just feeling it! It was such a sick view. When you came out you could see everyone on the beach and all their hands up, it’s such a good feeling.”
In a battle against the young all-star WCT competitors, John John Florence (HAW) met Miguel Pupo (BRA) in the Quarterfinals and managed to take the win against the former Quiksilver Pro France champion with his Hawaiian barrel expertise.
“It is an important event for sure,. The whole title race thing, I’m trying not to think about it too much. I just take it heat by heat and will see what happens at the end of the year,” Florence said. “It’s my first full year on Tour and I’m just having fun and enjoying it.”
After pulling into numerous beautiful barrels, Florence spoke about the pristine conditions at La Graviere: “It was a lot of fun. There are a lot of waves coming in,” Florence said. “There’s a lot of current shifting everyone around though so you have to keep your eye on that one peak, but it was fun!” Florence will face wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA) in the first heat of the Semifinals when competition resumes.
Quiksilver Pro France 2012 Wildcard and former full-time ASP WCT competitor, Reynolds annihilated his heat in the Quarterfinals against Kolohe Andino (USA) after scoring a 9.10 and backing it up with a power gouge for the win.
“I was lucky that I went up there and he got stuck in the rip I guess, because it was really clean up where I was and there were some really nice waves,” Reynolds said. “I’m looking forward to being able to surf these waves again, especially in the morning. It’s so nice out there. I’m still competing, but I’m just doing the events that I really want to do and trying to find the right balance for me. I’m definitely enjoying being here and doing this event; I’m psyched!”
The Quiksilver Pro France will move into the Semifinals when competition resumes. Be sure to check back here for the latest updates!