HOSSEGOR, France (Wednesday, September 23, 2009) – The Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, in ON this morning with Round 1 of competition heading out in clean three-to-four foot (1 .5 metre) waves at Les Bourdaines.
“We have some very clean three-to-four foot waves this morning at the main site of Les Bourdaines and we’ll be getting underway at 8am,” Rod Brooks, Quiksilver Pro Trestles Contest Director, said. “
Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 6, has been clawing his way back into contention over the last three events, following an uncharacteristically slow start. With four events left on the 2009 ASP Dream Tour, the Floridian admits that France is critical to his bid for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title.
“This is probably my last shot to get back in this thing,” Slater said. “The idea is to just focus on one heat at a time and one event at a time, but I definitely need to make up some ground in these next events.”
Slater will face veteran Mick Campbell (AUS), 35, and trials winner Alain Riou (PYF), 26, in Round 1 today.
Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 21, is into his first Quiksilver Pro France as a full-fledged member of the ASP Top 45, but the powerful natural-footer did some damage at last season’s event as a wildcard.
"Good to be back in France and catch-up with all former team mates and people I’ve known for years now,” Bourez said. “It’s great to come back to the event, I’ve had good results in the past here and I am coming with the same relaxed state of mind as when I was a wildcard last year and got 5th.”
Bourez is looking to gain some ground on fellow rookie and current ASP World No. 15 Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 24, in the race for 2009 ASP Rookie of the Year, and the Tahitian’s results in the past two events are building an impressive momentum for him.
“It’s been going good for me in the last couple of events and I think I’ve found a good rhythm,” Bourez said. “The turning point for me was when we went to the Mentawaiis for the Red Bull trip. That surf trip gave me a lot of time to focus on my boards, my surfing and see the others push their limits, which motivated me so strong. Then I went back there with Nike 6.0 and that was another crucial training. I have great boards that really suit my style and I am enjoying competing right now. That event at Trestles was good and I am super happy to be getting closer to the Top 20 right now. It was my goal when the year started and to see things go my way is really satisfying. I’ve worked hard and I am looking forward to keeping that good roll going."
Bourez takes on current ASP World No. 3 Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, and fellow 2009 ASP World Tour rookie Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, in the opening round of Quiksilver Pro France competition today.
Up first this morning will be Taylor Knox (USA), 38, Chris Ward (USA), 30, and David Weare (ZAF), 29, in Round 1 of competition.
The Quiksilver Pro France will host the world’s best surfers from September 23 to October 4, 2009.
The event be webcast LIVE in French, English and Portuguese at www.quiksilverprofrance.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
**QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA), Chris Ward (USA), David Weare (ZAF)
Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA), Ben Dunn (AUS), Nic Muscroft (AUS)
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA), Timmy Reyes (USA), Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Marlon Lipke (DEU)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Dean Morrison (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Kiron Jabour (HAW)
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA), Mick Campbell (AUS), Alain Riou (PYF)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), Patrick Beven (FRA)
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS), Roy Powers (HAW), Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 12: Kieren Perrow (AUS), Chris Davidson (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 13: Dane Reynolds (USA), Jay Thompson (AUS), Nathaniel Curran (USA)
Heat 14: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Tim Boal (FRA), Michael Picon (FRA)
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Dayyan Neve (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 16: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Dustin Barca (HAW), Greg Emslie (ZAF)**