ASP Dream Tour Europeans Get Back To Competition Mode For Hurley Pro At Lower Trestles
CAPBRETON, France (Thursday, September 10, 2009) – Three days remain before the Hurley Pro, sixth event on this year's ASP World Tour, kicks off on one of the most high-performance waves in the world at Lower Trestles in Califonrnia, from September 13 to 19, 2009. After a couple of months away from the elite ASP Top 45 pack, this year's seven European representatives will get back in competition mode to try and get things back in motion and start the second half of the year, most of them needing a big result to keep any ASP World Tour re-qualification hope alive.
From the three rookies Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), Marlon Lipke (Algarve, DEU) and Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) to the experienced soldiers Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT), Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK) and uncontested leader Jeremy Flores (Capbreton, FRA), the European contingent will be much awaited for its clash against current ratings' leaders and trouble-makers, six out of the seven men being ranked outside the Top 20 before the Hurley Pro commences.
Jeremy Flores, 21, remains the team's leader and sits on an exceptional history at the famous Californian break where he has placed equal 3rd two times in a row since he became an ASP Top 45 member in 2007. The Reunion Island born surfer, whose technical skills and experience have taken him to a career best No. 8 on the ASP World Tour for a deserved ASP Rookie of the Year award, has built a solid reputation at Trestles where he defeated several of the sport's best athletes in the last couple of years including former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Gold Coast, AUS) in an impressive exchange last year. Ranked No. 16 before heading to California, his worst rating since his elite inception, Flores will be looking to make the Quarterfinals at least at the Hurley Pro and get back to his best level, a standard that has already since the young man make several Semifinals and one final in the last couple of years.
Despite a surprising average start to his rookie season among the elite, Tahitian charger Michel Bourez showed he was back to solid levels of surfing in the past two months after peaking with an equal 9th place finish at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay in July where he ousted Mick Fanning in one of the most exciting exchanges of the year. Bourez, who went to make the Quarterfinals of the U.S Open of Surfing right after, will be more than ready to battle and show his power-surfing and progressive style when he paddles out with his Hurley Pro competition jersey on next week. Not attending any of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events in Europe for the first time in years, Bourez will be hungry for heat wins knowing a good result at Lower Trestles would rocket him from his current No. 25 rank through to the coveted Top 20 where he could take a bit of air before the tour marches-on to Europe for three consecutive events.
Only two men to sit in the mid-ranks at this stage of the year, Tim Boal and Aritz Aranburu will be looking to confirm their promising start after they both had very different fates. Where Boal showed consistency and maturity to avoid Round 1 losses at four of the first five events this year, Aranburu has had four shockers but was able to record one of the most prestigious runs of the year in the Billabong Pro Tahiti where he ousted Dane Reynolds (California, USA), reigning and nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) before losing in the Semifinals of the infamous lefthander of Teahupoo for his best result ever. Respectively ranked No. 30 and No. 32 before the Hurley Pro, Boal and Aranburu will need a good run in California to remain in their seat and possibly better their rank before flying back to Europe where they should be at ease at locations they know better than many of their ASP Top 45 peers. Boal, who placed 3rd last April in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Nike 6.0 pro at Lower Trestles, should be one of the European clan's best chances in California.
At the bottom of the ratings after a difficult start this year, Tiago Pires (No. 36) Michael Picon (No. 40) and rookie Marlon Lipke (No. 43) will need to grab serious points when they compete in the Hurley Pro. With the ASP World Tour re-commencing after a couple of months break, all three men will be in a second start position, knowing they have to get things going fast as five events only remain before the end-of-the-year verdict. Having the potential to surf with power, speed and style, the three men will need to step-up against the big names of the moment as their seeding will automatically throw them against current ratings' leaders. Nothing is impossible and at this stage, there are still a lot of points on the line and great opportunities to shine under the Californian sun.
Europeans' Ratings After Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay
No. 16, Jeremy Flores (FRA), 2430 pts
No. 25, Michel Bourez (PYF), 1870 pts
No. 30, Tim Boal (FRA), 1865 pts
No. 32, Aritz Aranburu (EUK), 1776 pts
No. 36, Tiago Pires (PRT), 1680 pts
No. 40, Michael Picon (FRA), 1495 pts
No. 43, Marlon Lipke (DEU), 1310 pts
For more on the seven European surfers of the 2009 ASP World Tour, check out www.aspworldtour.com