Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion, claimed his 51st elite tour victory today, besting celebrated wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, in a hard-fought Final to take out the Quiksilver Pro France.
Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2012 ASP WCT, the Quiksilver Pro France culminated in dramatic fashion this morning with the primary venue of La Graviere serving up clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) barrels for a star-studded Final Four.
With conditions slowing, Slater wasted little time in the Final, collecting a 7.93 and a 9.33 in the opening 10 minutes for impressive tube rides on his forehand. While Reynolds would battle back with his own barrels and aerial attempts, it would not prove enough in the end allowing Slater to collect his first French victory in two decades.
“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.”
Today marks Slater’s third win of the 2012 season (Fiji, Trestles, France) and vaults him up to 2nd on the ASP WCT rankings, well within striking distance of ASP World Title No. 12 with three events remaining this year.
“When you start working the numbers a little bit, I got that 500 pointer and a 13th, two bad results, already,” Slater said. “Parko (Joel Parkinson) is sitting on a 9th and a 5th. If I couldn’t get past Parko today, it would have put a lot of pressure on me, but this has now put the pressure back on Mick (Fanning) because Parko, John John (Florence) and I did well here at this event.”
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal from October 10 – 21, 2012.
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
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com