From France: Wins & Losses

posted by / News / October 10, 2011

It's the 10th Anniversary of the Quiksilver Pro France. Photo: RabejacThe 10th Anniversary of the Quiksilver Pro France — it’s shaping up nicely. Photo: Rabejac


Scoring waves in France isn’t easy. Tide, wind and swell are constantly changing and the surf can be completely different from one beach to the next. On Saturday, chargers at the contest site were towing and paddling into raw, double overhead bombs while a mile away prog surfers like Chippa Wilson were flying above head-high wedges. By Sunday morning, though, it had cleaned up and dropped to a more manageable size and Round 3 was on.

Mick Fanning started it by having a shocker against Taylor Knox and seeing his world title hopes for this year sink. Fanning, whose career record at this event is second only to Andy Irons’, was sanguine about his situation, saying that he’s become interested in experimenting with boards.

After Kelly dusted off Moroccan trialist Ramzi Boukhiam, all eyes were on the next heat featuring Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith. Both are coming off painful rib injuries and neither looked very comfortable at the start of the heat, but Jordy took the early lead. Dane battled back with a big blow-tail reverse and had a clear shot at the win, needing only a 5.66. He found a lined up right near the end of the heat, rifled off two vertical snaps and eyeballed the frothy end section. Anybody else on tour would have safely floated over it or hit it conservatively enough to finish the wave and ensure victory, but Dane’s Dane. He tried to force an air instead and went down. Was that his last appearance in a World Tour event as a Top 34 surfer?

In contrast to Dane was the win-at-all-costs approach of Brazilian rookie Gabriel Medina. The 17-year-old is an absolute wizard in small lefts. Needing a 6.13 in the dying minutes of his heat against Bede Durbidge, he threw down a frontside nose-pick and then somehow recovered out of it to hit the lip while basically hanging five with his front foot on the tip of his board. He got the score and moves onto Round 4.

Controversy erupted near the end of the day when Travis Logie went off in the small tricky lefts. Taj Burrow came into the beach upset because he knew there was no way that his last wave of the heat, a speed float followed by an under the lip snap, was worthy of the 7.35 he needed to win. The judges thought differently though and now, as in the heat between Adriano de Souza and Owen Wright in Brazil, have some explaining to do. [You be the judge: Here’s the heat review of Taj v. Trav.]

With the return of the sun and more rippable waves, the freesurf action heated up as well. John John Florence found a barreling right down the beach that Kelly Slater also surfed by himself near dark while Dane, Craig Anderson, Dion Agius, Balaram Stack and Brendon Gibbens got loose a fun bar a couple miles north.

With more sun, head-high waves and light winds forecast all this week, look for much more characteristic French fun-ness on the way. –Jamie Tierney

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  • ym

    dane is soooooo overrated

  • CS1

    YM…are u on crack??? Dane is one of the most impressive surfers ever. have u actually watched the guy surf?
    As for the judging for Taj and Travis’s heat…Taj surfed amazing and had a super sick turn on his last wave …no question but, Travis’s last wave “in comparison” to Taj’s should have resulted in a higher score for Logie than what was given. That just seems super obvious. I have seen some messed up judging but this was so clear. how frustrating for Logie. I would love to hear how the judges explain this one!

  • CS1

    See above

  • blind in 4 rear holes

    conner coffin is overrated.

  • Mic

    So I watch pretty much all day and I’m thinking wow the airs aren’t being over scored and the judges are doing a pretty fair job. Then incredibly, unbelievably, like no f-&!NG way T.B. Beats T.L what, WTF. That was just shameful. End of story..
    PS I have a question, dose anybody know?
    Kellys match up with the kid, dose that pop out of a computer or come mathematically somehow? Or is that up to Quicksilver?

  • Jason


    Kelly matches up with Ramzi in round 3 because Kelly is the highest seed and Ramzi is the lowest.

  • anom

    Kellys the top seed, the kid Ramzi is the lowest seed, 1 vs. 34. Then its 2 vs 33, 3 vs 32, etc depending on who is left. After round 3 there is no more reseeding.

  • Mic

    Jason and Anom thanks for the answers I appreciate it…

  • jt

    Worst judging since the infamous Floater-gate that went down in Brazil. And they fine Freddy P for respectively expressing his discontent over Twitter? These judges should be fined 1,000 for being idiots

  • huhwhat

    Wanhhh, they shouldn’t have given Adriano any points for a mere floater and should have given Travis a bunch of points for a (really mere) floater. Travis’ two other moves on that wave weren’t worth 8.57, any more than Taj’s one and a half moves – one of which was in a seriously critical section – were worth 7.35. They both surfed well given the conditions, but Taj surfed with more power off the bottom, more flow, and more progressive punch… and, was more stylish for once, though I know (judging by Adriano lately, and, ironically, Owen) that the judges democratically ignore “style”.