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The Quiksilver Pro France resumed today in clean 4-6Ft waves at the primary venue of La Graviere and completed the third round of competition with the World's Best lighting up the Hossegor peaks to whittle the field down to just twelve surfers.
Event No.8 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour, The Quiksilver Pro France was in a holding pattern for the past four days due to non-existant swell and finally recommenced today in pumping surf. This event will play a major role in the World Title race as well as requalification campaigns of the Top 34.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18, in his rookie season amongst the Elite Top34, put on a dominant performance in Round 3 to eliminate the event's favourite Jeremy Flores (FRA) 25. Toledo displayed his versatility opening his wave-count with a deep stand-up barrel rewarded by an excellent 8.50, before launching into a massive alley-oop perfectly executed to net the day's highest wave score of 9.97 out of 10.
"I'm super stoked to make that heat, especially with that air and that barrel," Toledo said. "With the tide coming up I was looking for the barrel and on the first wave I got a really good one. Then it sort of changed and I thought I was going to need to do turns, but that little wave came and I went for the alley-oop air. The Brazilian crew is great, we're all stoked and have that positive vibe so it's great to be here in France in warm weather and good waves. I'm feeling confident for the next round."
Toledo will be facing defending event champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Brett Simpson (USA) in the fourth round.
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19, former winner of the Quiksilver Pro France, was in a sizzling form, adjusting perfectly to the changing lineup on the outgoing tide late this afternoon. The talented Brazilian goofyfooter locked in a beautiful frontside barrel he exited clean and completed the wave with an impressive alley-oop to net an excellent 9.10 out of 10.
"It looks like home, I'm so stoked to make it through," Medina admitted. "France is definitely a special place for me, I had some great results here in the past and I love to come here it's been fun. Everyone's hard to beat, especially Julian he surfed really good in the last couple of events, I'm really excited for the next one."
Michel Bourez (PYF) 27, current World No.10 and recent semi-finalist in Trestles, kept the ball rolling at the Quiksilver Pro France today. The excellent tuberider hailing from Tahiti read the moving lineup at la Graviere perfectly to sit in the right spot and find two excellent waves, including a near-perfect 9.73 out of 10 on a deep righthander barrel he came flying out of.
"Those conditions are why they put the contest here, La Graviere can be really good and I'm lucky to get that one," Bourez stated. "It's so much fun out there, I surf to get barreled and today I didn't even feel like I was in a heat I just wanted to get the best waves. It's all about placement, it can be anyone's event, if Kolohe was in my spot he would have got the scores and made the heat."
Reigning ASP World Champion and past winner of the Quiksilver Pro France, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 32, made a smart selection of the waves on offer at La Graviere to find two good scores and advance ahead of talented Californian Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 27. Parkinson made full use of his extensive knowledge and experience in France to scour the lineup and spot the best opportunities.
"Now that there's waves it puts such a good vibe around the event," Parkinson said. "There's a couple little tactics you can use to find the right ones, like try to find where the rips go out, try to get on the corners of the smooth parts, sometimes it feels like you're paddling for nothing and it turns into a good wave."
Hawaiian phenomenon John John Florence (HAW) 20, displayed his usual ease in the technical fast-breaking barrels of La Graviere to post a solid heat total of 15.67 out of 20 and advance into the fourth round of competition ahead of fellow Hawaiian Sebastien Zietz. Florence managed to navigate through a lengthy clean barrel and punctuated the ride with a massive lay-back snap that lit up the massive French crowds.
"I'm stoked, especially how hard it is out there, there are a lot of close-outs," Florence commented. "Hawaiians we're all here together, so it's a bummer when we come up against against each other, but I'm stoked to make it through Sebastian is kind of a scary surfer. I've been having fun these pas few days, skating and surfing little waves, just cruising around town.."
Florence will be facing Michel Bourez (PYF) and current rankings leader Mick Fanning (AUS) in the non-elimination fourth round of competition.
Kai Otton (AUS) 33, rounded up today's action in an exciting non-elimination round 4 battle against Parkinson and Taj Burrow (AUS) 35. Otton netted two of the highest single-wave scores of the day, an incredible 9.77 backed up with a 9.40 on two consecutive backhand deep barrels to advance straight into the quarter-finals of the event and relegate his opponents to the fifth round.
Surfers and event organizers will reconvene at 7:45am tomorrow at the main site of La Graviere to re-assess conditions and decide of the day's schedule.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.50 pts, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.17 pts
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 7.40 pts, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 4.10 pts
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.60 pts, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.83 pts
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.73 pts, Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.50 pts
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 15.67 pts, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 10.20 pts
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.34 pts, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 10.67 pts
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.50 pt , Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 9.37 pts
Heat 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.47 pts, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 2.67 pts
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.16 pts, Brett Simpson (USA) 13.77 pts
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.26 pts, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.30 pts
Heat 11: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.87, pts Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.40 pts
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.17 pts Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.40 pts