THE 2003 QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE: DAY FIVE

posted by / News / October 5, 2003

Surf: Three feet and sideshore wind
Events held: Evian expression session prelim
Nature’s call: It will be snowing in the mountains soon
Predicted: Bigger, stormier
“Did you see it out front — it’d be drainers if it were offshore,” claims Damien Hobgood, reporting back from another fruitless surf check. No one in the house of pro surfers appears to be surprised. Actually, everyone’s kind of dapper that the evening sun has snuck its way out from behind those bad-attitude clouds that have been so having their way. Yep, things are slow but relatively good over here in Europe for the World Championship Tour. But that’s not to say they aren’t interesting. Check this story from earlier down at the comp: Australia’s Chris “Davo” Davidson is one rugged dude. “Mate, I was clipped by a car last night,” he retold slowly next to the heat sheets, some time after lasts night’s usual festivities and not looking so well. “It came around a corner fast, so I could only see it out of the corner of my eye.”

Putting a hand down on the concrete like a footballer, he tried to demonstrate his effort of escape, and by the look of his blackened jaw, it was a tensing mental view. Crack! “I think I’ve broken it,” he continued. He must have heaps of stitches, right? “No; the hospital was too far,” he said letting his head bobble to describe his early-a.m. daze. There were no stitches, just some simple gauze. It was kind of a cool, macho tale, really — albeit, not half as cool as telling it. Supposedly this guy’s already had a rib broken in a street fight earlier this year, and that was before the Teahupo’o event. He nods his approval, “Good thing I’m already in the third round.” Today’s surf was average at best, doing a great impersonation of Ehukai sandbar with a Kona wind; small rights crumbling down the line, lefts against the grain. Between deliberations for holding Men’s Round Two, was the Evian Expression Session preliminary heat. Crunching marvelous thin-crust pizza compliments of Quiksilver, most competitors hung around to watch the few of their peers keen enough to slop on the wettie and go give a show. Cory Lopez ended up with the win and his props for a near 540 thanks to the side-blowing wind. But by most accounts the real standout was Quiksilver’s newest investment, Dane Reynolds, the lanky natural footer out of Ventura, CA. After a two-hour free surf in the paltry slop, he kept on in the hour-long heat to not only advance in third place, but to only do so after just missing a completely inverted backside loop. It’s not easy for a non-WCT surfer to stand out around one of these things, and this kid had people freaking out. Was he nervous? “No…just a little tired. Kline [Quik team manager] just handed me the jersey and told me to go out,” was all he said. Maybe if you’re going to be one of the best, it just has to be easy as that.

“It’s good for an airshow, but not for a heat,” motioned world champ, Andy Irons, to his draw, wildcard Tiago Pires, when many called for a start due to worse weather reported on the way. Andy, being the gentleman that he is, decided he would go out and give it a test. Meanwhile, Tiago was in his yellow singlet, bouncing in the competitor’s tent, trying to stay warm. “Are they on another hold,” asked Troy Brooks with irony. Yup, it would be another 25 minutes. Brooko knows well what a wildcard can do to Andy. Fifteen minutes later it was official: the contest would stay on hold. Hey, Andy’s smart — he ain’t the world champ for nothing.– Hagan Kelley

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