Bonjour. The ASP World Title Race now jets cross-country and over the Atlantic to the South West Coast of France for the Quiksilver Pro with a new World Ratings leader—albeit a familiar one. Kelly saw that number 1 on Jordy's back and said, "No, that is mine!"
But this thing is far from over folks. Jordy Smith sits a mere 4,500 points behind Mr. Slater and has tasted what first place is like—in France it will taste of French women and exquisite wine. I don't think he will be giving it up just that easy. And you can't count out guys like Mick Fanning and Taj Burrow just yet either. They both shined bright at moments amidst the perfect Lower lines and both are very familiar with the podium in France. But the new format demands a marathon performance, not a sprint.
The Hurley Pro at Lowers showcased the new 36-man format that we will be seeing for many contests to come, and it did not disappoint. Putting it to the test in potentially dredging, shifty, French beachbreaks will surely challenge the world's best to keep their surfing at its highest levels. And in the end that's what it will take in France to win.—Ryan Brower
The Quiksilver Pro France runs from September 25 to October 5 and can be seen live at quiksilverlive.com/profrance2010. Stay tuned to transworldsurf.com as well for full coverage from France.
Below are our picks for our Fantasy Action Sports League teams and if you haven't gotten your team squared away get to it.
Check out the ASP World Ratings here: aspworldtour.com/rankings/asp-world-title-ranking/
And check out the FASL surfer values here: fantasyactionsportsleague.com/surf/athletes
Chris Cote, Editor In Chief
Winner: I'll get some online hate comments for this, but I'm gonna say Andy Irons is gonna win. He's fired up, I am driving the Andy Irons bandwagon, so hop on board. And watch his part in High Five. I'm not sure how much his FASL worth is at this point, but put him on your team, he'll work for you.
Best Rookie Performance: Dusty Payne and Pat G will battle it out in the beachbreaks of France, it will come down to who surfs their heat naked. But seriously, these two guys are safe picks for your FASL teams as well, I always put at least two rookies on my team, and usually these two guys.
Shocker: There will be twice as many barrels ridden in France as there was in Tahiti.
Casey Koteen, Managing Editor
Winner: I'm going with Taj Burrow. He's due to get his world title campaign back on track.
Best Rookie Performance: Hard not to go with Dusty, he's a madman in thick beachbreak conditions. See his mini-part in High Five for reference.
Shocker: No one on the message boards will talk shit on my picks.
Aaron Checkwood, Photo Editor
Winner: Andy Irons. I just like Andy in France.
Best Rookie Performance: Owen Wright loves punchy beach breaks and therefore I like Owen's chances.
Shocker: Another new winner to really f—k the title race up even more (which is better for everyone).
Justin Cote, Online Editor
Winner: Michel Bourez. Why play it safe? My boy Bourez is gonna smoke fools in France!
Best Rookie Performance: Hard to compete with Owen Wright, he surfs like a seasoned veteran yet has all the tricks in the bag.
Shocker: Kelly bows out in the first round and disappears to Italy to marry his girlfriend.
Ryan Brower, Editorial Assistant
Winner: Hard to go against Kelly after his utter domination at Lowers. When he gets on a roll he's untouchable. Jordy will give him a run for his money though.
Best Rookie Performance: Pat G. is going to bounce back after his less than stellar showing at his homebreak of Lowers and land another rodeo in a heat.
Shocker: The webcast will be unable to censor all the French boobs on the beach and it'll be a free show all day long…
Jeff Baldwin, Sales Turkey
Winner: Mick Fanning. He was too close at Lowers and has some bad blood energy with Kelly going into France. I think he's going to channel that. It'll be tight with another Mick vs Kelly semi.
Best Rookie Performance: Owen Wright looks like a seasoned veteran. He'll shine in those perfect beach breaks no matter the size. Expect him to go far. Kelly even said he'll have a world title soon…big backing from the 9 x Champ!!
Shocker: Bee's in revolt go crazy and sting everyone in the pastry shops.