RIP CURL PRO / HOSSEGOR, FRANCE
Rip Curl Super Series WQS (August 22-28)
Rip Curl Super Series Sets Up For Big Final Days In France
6pm, Thursday, August 25: After finishing the four heats still remaining from Round 2 this morning, the Rip Curl Super Series launched into Round 3 heats at roughly 12pm today in tricky, but solid 4-6ft waves at Les Bourdaines, Seignosse, France.
The Super Series started with 144 competitors on Monday, but after the completion of Round 3 this afternoon there are only 24 surfers left in the event. The first three rounds have featured four-surfer heats, but moving into Round 4 tomorrow, officials will introduce three-man heats and then man-on-man heats for Round 5, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.
Some big results unfolded today, one of the most popular with the local Hossegor crowd being Miky Picon’s second place finish in Heat 1 and advancement to the next round. Despite finishing second behind South African Greg Emslie, Picon has progressed to the round of 24 and will face Brazilian WCT #21 Peterson Rosa and Tahitian surfer Alain Riou in Heat 2 tomorrow.
“I entered the water with a lot of pressure, but had to ask myself, ‘what’s the best way to get rid of that pressure’,” said Picon. “After that I just pictured myself alone in the water as if on a wintery day here with no one out. It helped. I grew up on this wave and these kinds of reforming waves. I am stoked to advance.”
Australian Adrian Buchan has been one of the in-form surfers so far in this event, but had a below average heat today against Alain Riou (PYF), David Weare (ZAF) and Adam Robertson (AUS) in Heat 3. Fortunately for Buchan, currently rated 3rd on the WQS, his 13.00-point two-wave combined heat score was enough to take second behind Riou, who posted a total of 16.33.
“It wasn’t a great heat, but it’s great to be through,” said Buchan. “Yesterday it was much easier to pick the right spot and the right wave, today it was more difficult. I am really happy my score was enough and I’m looking forward to surfing tomorrow.”
Brazilian Renato Galvao was somewhat of a suprise winner in Heat 4 today, taking first place over Toby Martin (AUS), Leigh Sedley (AUS) and Russell Winter (GBR) in an exciting heat. Galvao only rode four waves in the 25-minute heat, but posted 7.33 and 6.67 scores on his final two rides to sneak past Sedley and Martin. He will line up against Shaun Ward (USA) and current WQS ratings leader Adriano de Souza in Heat 3 of Round 4 tomorrow.
De Souza posted a 9.00-point ride on the way to a heat winning 16.93 two-wave combined score in Heat 5. The score was the equal highest of the day and yet again confirmed why de Souza has been so dominant all season.
“I am stoked – I’m really happy to get to the next round,” said de Souza. “It was a good heat and I’m happy to get the winning score.”
Jay Thompson was the fourth Australian to progress past Round 3 today, winning his heat with 15.16 points and advancing with second placed Pancho Sullivan (HAW). Sullivan, regarded as one of the best big wave surfers on tour, is stoked with the increasing swell and is looking forward to surfing the forecasted offshore, 4-6ft conditions tomorrow.
“It’s pretty rare on the WQS that we get to surf good waves, so I’m so stoked the conditions have showed up for this event,” said Sullivan. “The tour is often about who the best fragment surfer is, rather than who is the best good wave surfer, so it’s just so important when you get good conditions. I want to thank Rip Curl for running an event like this, because it takes the level of surfing higher and gives us the proper opportunities we don’t always get. I want to get my surfing to WCT level and this is the kind of event that does it for the WQS.”
Heat 11 was arguably the most exciting of the day – Beau Mitchell (AUS), Roy Powers (HAW) and Patrick Beven (FRA) locked iin a three way battle until final moments of their 25-minute encounter. The lead changed several times, until Mitchell pulled ahead mid-way with a two-wave combined score of 14.17 points. Beven locked in a late 9.50 ride to total 14.00 points and all but confirm second place, but was shocked when Powers (needing a score higher than 7.00) scraped a 7.17 in the dying minutes to take second.
Powers will face Shaun Cansdell (AUS) and Paulo Moura (BRZ) in Heat 8 of the next round, while Mitchell will come up against fellow Australian Luke Munro and Brazilian Rodrigo Dornelles in Heat 7.
Contest officials will meet onsite at Les Bourdaines at 9am tomorrow morning for a probable competition restart in great conditions.
For the Round 4 heat draw, please see www.ripcurl.com