Mick Fanning wins surfing's Quiksilver Pro France
Australia's Mick Fanning has won the Quiksilver Pro France, beating countryman Bede Durbidge in active 1- to 3-foot waves at Seignosse, France.Fanning has scored back-to-back victories on the ASP World Tour, having won the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles in San Clemente last week.
Fanning is now only 146 points behind No. 1-ranked Australian Joel Parkinson, who was upset by France's Patrick Beven in Round 3 on Saturday.
“It’s back on,” Fanning said. “Everyone thought Joel was going to run away with it, and it’s unfortunate for him that he fell out early, but I’ve put in a lot of work to get these last two wins, and I’m just psyched on heading into the rest of the season.”
Durbidge’s second-place finish propels him from seventh to fourth in the 2009 ASP World Tour rankings, putting him in a strong position heading into the remainder of the year.
"That's good news, but my goal is just to finish the year off good and be in a good position to start next year,” Durbidge said. “I would like to finish the year inside the top 5 for sure so I hope to keep things rolling."
Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater didn't make it past the quarterfinals, losing to Tiago Pires of Portugal.
“I’m over the moon right now,” Pires said. “Kelly is my favorite surfer, and I have so much respect for him."
Though Slater opened up with some explosive surfing to score a strong 17.43 out of a possible 20 heat total, it was Pires who would answer back with a 9.57 followed by an 8.13 to take the heat.
“After I put up that first big score, I knew I had to wait for the bigger waves to get the scores to beat him," Pires said. "I had been watching all day, and I knew there would be sets so when it came, I just put everything I had into it."
The next stop will be the Billabong Pro Mundaka in Spain, the eighth of 10 World Tour events.
CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10 RANKINGS:1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5,896 points
2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 5,750 points
3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4,872 points
4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4,792 points
5: Kelly Slater (USA) 4,638 points
6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 4,573 points
7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 4,417 points
8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 4,384 points
9: Bobby Martinez (USA) 4,314 points
10: Taylor Knox (USA) 4,216 points
--Kelly BurgessPhoto: Mick Fanning has claimed the 2009 Quiksilver Pro France. The win moves the Australian even closer to countryman Joel Parkinson in the hunt for the 2009 ASP World Title. Credit: ASP/ CI/ Cestari via Getty Images