QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE (23 September — 2 October)
EVENT #9 ON THE FOSTER’S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) MEN’S WORLD TOUR
Quiksilver Pro France: Round Three Completed–Bruce, Cory, Occy, And Taj Advance
Round three of the Quiksilver Pro France presented by Samsung was completed today in two metre (six foot) waves at La Nord, Hossegor.
With only seven heats being completed to finish the round, winners today included Mark Occhilupo (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA), Bruce Irons (HAW), Taj Burrow (AUS), Peterson Rosa (BRA), Nathan Hedge, (AUS) and Jake Paterson (AUS) who put up an incredible comeback on a wave in the dying seconds of the last heat of the day.
With conditions being somewhat testing, surfers competing on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour faced a tough physical challenge despite having access to the jet skis which dragged the surfers back into the lineup.
Paterson, who, like Kelly Slater (USA) and Andy Irons (HAW) yesterday, was in need of a strong wave in the last few minutes to hold off a challenge from young gun Tim Reyes (USA) who was in fine form early.
In the dramatic finish, and needing a 6.01, Paterson dropped into a sizable wave and whacked three large bottom to top turns to score a 7.83.
“It’s really tough out there and heats could really quickly go one way or the other depending on what waves came through, said an exhausted Paterson. “I was waiting 12 minutes for that last wave which I got a couple of turns on to get the score. Tim put me under a lot of pressure and grabbed a good wave early and I had to come back.
Paterson put the win down to him relying on his vast experience obtained after 10 years on the tour. He will now face fellow Australian Nathan Hedge in round four.
“He maybe should have waited a bit longer and used his priority a bit better, said Paterson relating to Reyes catching a substandard wave while he had right of way for any wave that came through. “I knew when I then gained priority that I had to wait so I did and that good wave came through. I tried to push him into the smaller wave that he took. It just comes down to experience after 10 years on tour.
In an interesting matchup earlier in the day, Floridian brothers Cory and Shea Lopez took to the water with Cory coming up trumps. Shea had suffered a nasty neck injury prior to the heat and was struggling to turn in order to see waves coming in. Despite the pain he put up a valiant effort but was no match for his younger sibling.
Cory indicated that he even felt a bit guilty taking the win here today.
“It was really challenging out there, said Cory. “It kinda sucks for Shea though. When I beat him in the first round that was okay because he would still make it through but I know he needed a good result here and at the end there I was almost hoping that he caught a good wave but none came in. I just wanted to surf a good fair heat though and unfortunately he just couldn’t get the waves.
Showing the solid form that has won him an ASP second tier event in Durban earlier this year, Bruce Irons (HAW) notched up a huge score of 18.26 out of 20 to defeat Raoni Monteiro (BRA). Mixing some deep tube riding with some high aerials Irons, who finished runner-up here last year, was cheered by the crowd whenever he jumped to his feet.
“I love the conditions out here, said Irons. “They are very similar to the waves we grew up surfing at home so I feel really comfortable. I’ve surfed waves like these lumpy, bumpy ones a lot. I’ve got Cory Lopez next and he loves these conditions too so may the best man win out there when we surf again.
For surfers and sport lovers in general, tomorrow could be a huge day indeed. At present, after assessing the weather forecast, organisers will aim to complete the event. With Kelly Slater teetering on the edge of claiming a seventh worldd crown and Andy Irons being the only man who is still in the running, expect a thriller of a day.
Results today’s round three heats:
Heat 10: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.00 def Lee Winkler (AUS) 7.66
Heat 11: Cory Lopez (USA) 11.60 def Shea Lopez (USA) 6.46
Heat 12: Bruce Irons (HAW) 18.26 def Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.00
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.24 def Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.33
Heat 14: Peterson Rosa (BRA) 10.33 def Chris Ward (USA) 10.00
Heat 15: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.50 def Guilherme Herdy (BRA) 9.67
Heat 16: Jake Paterson (AUS) 14.16 def Tim Reyes (USA) 12.33
Round four draw:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs Victor Ribas (BRA)
Heat 2: Luke Egan (AUS) vs Phil MacDonald (AUS)
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 4: Paulo Moura (BRA) vs Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 5: Andy Irons (HAW) vs Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 6: Cory Lopez (USA) vs Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs Peterson Rosa (BRA)
Heat 8: Nathan Hedge (USA) vs Jake Paterson (AUS) .