Mick Fanning Wins Quik Pro France

Kelly was getting barreled whichever way he went. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kelly was getting barreled whichever way he went. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

When Kelly Slater came in from his quarters victory against Michel Bourez he said, "Oh my gosh. This is what we live for. There's the craziest waves out there. You don't want to get sixes, you want to get tens out there today. They're out there, someone's going to get a ten soon," so you know France was good. And Kelly was the one who proceeded to do just that in his very next heat—get a ten on an impossible freefall drop in the barrel and send rookie Brett Simpson packing.

Your 2010 Quiksilver Pro champ, Mick Fanning. Photo courtesy ASp/Scholtz

Your 2010 Quiksilver Pro champ, Mick Fanning. Photo courtesy ASp/Scholtz

Though he didn't win, Kelly did extend his points lead today. Number 10 is definitely in the crosshairs for Slates. But I'm thinking not before Mick has something to say about that. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Though he didn't win, Kelly did extend his points lead today. Number 10 is definitely in the crosshairs for Slates. But I'm thinking not before Mick has something to say about that. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

We love France. How could you not? Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

We love France. How could you not? Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

But for as good as the waves were, it was by no means easy to get those diamonds in the rough. Just take a look at some of the losing heat scores from today: Jordy Smith 8.76, Simpo's 3.00, and Kelly's final score of 6.74. Mick's frothy drainers that gave him a 7.17 and a 9.73 were no match in the final for Kelly when he didn't find the waves. After the final Mick said, "That was difficult. Some would shoot under us, some would break out on us. Sometimes you just get put in the spot, and I was just lucky to get that one last one at the end."

Michel Bourez went down to Slater today, but not before he attempted to make this beast. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Michel Bourez went down to Slater today, but not before he attempted to make this beast. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Ace Buchan put up a solid semis performance. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Ace Buchan put up a solid semis performance. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Mick was finding these ones all day long. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Mick was finding these ones all day long. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Get put in the spot Mick did today, as he's on the move. His second consecutive Quiksilver Pro France title has catapulted him from fifth to third in the ratings, sitting less than 10,000 points behind Mr. Slater (and only 1,150 behind Jordy). The back half of the tour is always where Mick does his damage, and as he said himself today, "I'm one of those guys again, eh?" referring to being a World Title hunt. But Kelly did extend his lead over number two Jordy, adding 2,000-points-and-change to the gap.

Mick's feeling it though, and don't count Jordy out just yet. Number 10 for Kelly is nowhere near being in the bag just yet. Congrats Mick!—Ryan Brower

There's two sides to claims: the annoying ones of Adriano de Souza after every single wave and the stylish ones of Mick Fanning after a big ol' pit. Kids, take note. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

There's two sides to claims: the annoying ones of Adriano de Souza after every single wave and the stylish ones of Mick Fanning after a big ol' pit. Kids, take note. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kelly has no problem fitting into exactly where he needs to be. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kelly has no problem fitting into exactly where he needs to be. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Simpo going for broke against Slater in the semis. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Simpo going for broke against Slater in the semis. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 –
Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 6.74

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1:
Kelly Slater (USA) 15.13 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 3.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1:
Brett Simpson (USA) 14.67 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.77
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.33
QF 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.93 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.27
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.76

CURRENT ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro France):
1.
Kelly Slater (USA) 48,000 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 40,750 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 39,500 pts
4. Taj Burrow (AUS) 32,250 pts
5. Dane Reynolds (USA) 32,000 pts

Kieren Perrow put up a good run in France, making it to the quarters before falling. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Kieren Perrow put up a good run in France, making it to the quarters before falling. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Kelly, in his hundreth barrel of the day. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Kelly, in his hundreth barrel of the day. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Kieren Perrow getting a good luck from his boy. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kieren Perrow getting a good luck from his boy. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Fanning was all over these frothy gurglers. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Fanning was all over these frothy gurglers. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Yes, Kelly made this ridiculous freefall drop in the barrel. They gave him a 10 for it, too. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Yes, Kelly made this ridiculous freefall drop in the barrel. They gave him a 10 for it, too. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

HEAD TO THE NEXT PAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS AND ASP PRESS RELEASE

A-frames on tap for the last day of the Quik Pro France. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

A-frames on tap for the last day of the Quik Pro France. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kelly. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Kelly. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

That's two Quik Pro France titles in a row for Mr. Fanning. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

That's two Quik Pro France titles in a row for Mr. Fanning. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Change that 5 on Mick's back to a 3 now. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Change that 5 on Mick's back to a 3 now. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Mick was in form all day. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

Mick was in form all day. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

A two-headed title race now? Well, don't count number 2 Jordy Smith out either. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

A two-headed title race now? Well, don't count number 2 Jordy Smith out either. Photo courtesy ASP/Cestari

CULS NUS BEACH, Hossegor/France (Saturday, October 2, 2010) – Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion, claimed his second, consecutive Quiksilver Pro France today, defeating fellow finalist, former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, Kelly Slater (USA), 38, in pumping six-to-eight foot (2.5 metre) barrels at Les Culs Nus Beach.

Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France culminated in dramatic fashion today with a bevy of high-scoring rides amidst the treacherous conditions, and it was the Australian besting the American in a hard-fought Final.

"That was difficult," Fanning said. "Kelly (Slater) and I were talking out there about how we were trying to get in the spot. There was just a lot of water moving and it was super challenging. I got absolutely hammered by that set – copped the whole thing on the head and it killed me. You were either in the spot or you weren't, and I was fortunate enough to be there for a couple."

Notching his second, consecutive Quiksilver Pro France win today, Fanning notes that the spectacular conditions gracing this year's event make the victory more enjoyable.

"This one feels pretty good," Fanning said. "Last year, the waves weren't really pumping. This year, it almost didn't feel like a surf contest, but rather a bunch of guys getting barrelled off their heads for a few days."

Today's win moves Fanning from 5th to 3rd on the ASP World Title Race rankings, well within striking distance of the frontrunner position moving into the final three events of the season.

"I've still got a lot of work to do and the other guys have a couple of Finals on me," Fanning said. "It's a start. I'm going to go to Portugal and have a lot of fun.

Slater was in phenomenal form from the outset today, consistently racking up impressive scores and feeding off the energy of the ocean.

"This is what we live for," Slater said. "This is insane. There are the craziest waves out there. They're out there. You don't want to get 6s, you want to get 10s."

The iconic natural-footer did just that in his Semifinal bout, free-falling and recovering with supernatural ability on a solid forehand barrel, being spat out the the eruption of applause from the millions watching around the world. It wave marks only the second Perfect 10 on the ASP season, and the first for Slater.

"It wasn't one of those classic waves," Slater said. "It was a little wonky at the start and I was waiting for it to hit the shallow part of the sandbar. I grabbed as hard as I could at the top of the wave to slow myself down, but my fins released and I ended up slipping down the face on the nose of my board. I thought I had blown it, but as I got to the bottom, my fins caught and I could reset my line and it worked out."

However, in quickly-changing conditions in the Final, Slater found himself uncharacteristically out of rhythm only able to amass a 6.74 heat total.

"Ouch," Slater said. "It was really difficult out there and I didn't get much aside from a few poundings. Congrats to Mick (Fanning) for finding a couple of scores out there."

Today's Runner-Up finish sees Slater cementing his position as ASP World No. 1 heading into the remainder of the season.

Brett Simpson (USA), 25, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, scored a career-best result today (an Equal 3rd at the Quiksilver Pro France), rocketing him from 28th to 20th on the ASP World Title Race rankings.

"These are the best waves I have ever surfed in a contest," Simpson said. "My heat this morning was magical, and then this afternoon, I couldn't find a wave to save my life. It's okay though. It's my best result of my career. I'm stoked to finally put a decent result on the board and hopefully I can continue that momentum into Portugal."

Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, was another to suffer a severe beating in his Semifinal against Fanning, but his Equal 3rd place finish today sees the stylish goofy-footer bumped from 9th to 6th on the ASP World Title Race rankings.

"It's really hard out there," Buchan said. "You really have to be on the spot to get the right one. That left I had probably would have given me the score, but it warbled on the last stretch and kind of bucked me off. Happy with my result though and it puts me in a good position moving into Portugal."

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, current ASP World No. 2, was unable to find a rhythm in his morning's Quarterfinals match-up, falling to Fanning and finishing Equal 5th.

"There're not many good ones out there," Smith said. "It's kind of a diamond-in-the-rough situation. That's the way it goes though – you win some, you lose some. It was unfortunate that I couldn't get any waves out there for that heat, but that's okay. I think everyone on tour is trying their hardest to prevent Kelly (Slater) from getting No. 10, but what can you do?"

Highlights from Quiksilver Pro France will be available via http://quiksilverlive.com/profrance2010/

The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal from October 7 through 18, 2010.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 –
Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 6.74

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1:
Kelly Slater (USA) 15.13 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 3.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1:
Brett Simpson (USA) 14.67 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.77
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.33
QF 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.93 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.27
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.76

CURRENT ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro France):
1.
Kelly Slater (USA) 48,000 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 40,750 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 39,500 pts
4. Taj Burrow (AUS) 32,250 pts
5. Dane Reynolds (USA) 32,000 pts