Kelly Slater Secures 51st Tour Win with Quik Pro France Victory (w/video)
October 05, 2012
|Prev Post||Next Post|
Kelly Slater (40) remains the man to beat on the ASP World Tour after claiming his 51st tour victory today near the French coastal town of Hossegor at the 2012 Quiksilver Pro France.
Facing wildcard Dane Reynolds (27) in the final Slater put together two high scoring waves in the early minutes of the heat in clean barreling wave conditions, which proved enough to hold off an in-form Reynolds - whom many consider the world's best freesurfer.
Slater who had not won a World Championship Tour event in France in 20 years, looked sharp throughout four days of competition at the rugged beach break La Graviere, known for shifting tides and cold, pounding surf.
"It's usually pretty tricky conditions for this event. These are definitely the waves I like the best...peaky barrels. It plays into my strengths. I'm relieved to finally get a win here." Slater said.
Hailing from Ventura, CA Dane Reynolds is not a full-time competitor on the ASP World tour but was eligible to compete at the Quiksilver Pro as a wild card. Dominating his heats all week Reyonlds seemed poised to earn his first ASP World Tour victory - particularly after defeating world #1 ranked Mick Fanning.
"I always put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe not on winning but to surf well." said Reynods "I’ve liked every day of this event. Yesterday was intense and challenging and the day before was the same. Today was just perfect and fun. Today was a playground, you can’t ask for any better than that.”
Australian Joel Parkinson (31) who came into the event trailing Fanning in the overall points race surfed with power and skill to make the semi-finals but could not best Slater. Despite missing the finals, the equal 3rd finish now places Parkinson in the overall tour points lead.
“I can’t wait for Portugal," Parkinson said. “It would be nice to get a win over there as the race is shaping up to come down to the end. Hopefully, if the waves are anything like this, it will be another amazing event.”
Hawaiian John John Florence (19) continues to show the surfing world why he is the the top up and comer, making his second semi-final in three events.
“Obviously, I would have wanted to make the Final,” Florence said. “It went into a very close heat and I would rather lose by 3 points points away than to lose with a 0.1 difference – it feels like I was a cutback away but I’m very happy with making the Semifinals. The waves have been all-time every single day, just crazy shorebreak barrels and it’s been a lot of fun.”
The Quiksilver Pro France was the 7th stop of the 2012 ASP World Tour. The next event, the Rip Curl Pro, runs from October 10-21 in Peniche, Portugal.
The world title race is now very close with less than 4,000 points separating Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater with four events remaining.
Whatever happens next, Slater seems content with his long awaited win in France.
“It has literally been 20 years,” Slater said. “I had my first win here 20 years ago and that’s pretty crazy. Obviously when you go out there you want to win the heat, but I would have been really stoked if Dane (Reynolds) pulled a 10 out of his hat at the end of the heat, it would have been pretty rad.” Slater said.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 17.26
2 – Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.00
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.70 def. John John Florence (HAW) 15.60
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.27 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.93
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro France):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 46,200 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 45,450 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 43,000
4. John John Florence (HAW) 39,150 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 31,900 pts