Mick Fanning wins ASP World Tour Quiksilver Pro France; Kelly Slater scores a perfect 10
Reigning ASP World Tour champion Mick Fanning bested current ASP Tour No.1-ranked Kelly Slater Saturday to win the Quiksilver Pro France, victorious in a hard-fought final on pumping 6- to 8-foot barrels at Les Culs Nus Beach.
"That was difficult," Fanning, 29, said. "Kelly and I were talking out there about how we were trying to get in the spot. There was just a lot of water moving and it was super challenging. I got absolutely hammered by that set -- copped the whole thing on the head and it killed me. You were either in the spot or you weren't, and I was fortunate enough to be there for a couple."
Notching his second consecutive Quiksilver Pro France win, the Australian noted that the spectacular conditions gracing this year's event make the victory more enjoyable.
"This one feels pretty good," Fanning said. "Last year, the waves weren't really pumping. This year, it almost didn't feel like a surf contest, but rather a bunch of guys getting barreled off their heads for a few days."
The win moves Fanning from fifth to third on the ASP World Title Race rankings, well within striking distance of the frontrunner position Slater still holds moving into the final three events of the season.
"I've still got a lot of work to do and the other guys have a couple of Finals on me," Fanning said. "It's a start. I'm going to go to Portugal and have a lot of fun."
Slater was in phenomenal form from the outset Saturday, consistently racking up impressive scores and feeding off the energy of the ocean.
"This is what we live for," the 38-year-old Floridian said. "This is insane. There are the craziest waves out there. They're out there. You don't want to get 6s, you want to get 10s."
"It wasn't one of those classic waves," Slater said. "It was a little wonky at the start and I was waiting for it to hit the shallow part of the sandbar. I grabbed as hard as I could at the top of the wave to slow myself down, but my fins released and I ended up slipping down the face on the nose of my board. I thought I had blown it, but as I got to the bottom, my fins caught and I could reset my line and it worked out."
In quickly-changing conditions in the final, however, Slater found himself uncharacteristically out of rhythm, amassing only a 6.74 heat total.
"Ouch," Slater said. "It was really difficult out there and I didn't get much aside from a few poundings. Congrats to Mick for finding a couple of scores out there."
Slater retains the top position in the ASP World Title race, with a 7,250-point lead on his quest to win an unprecedented 10th world title.
The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal from Oct. 7-18.
Quiksilver Pro France final results:
1 – Mick Fanning (AUS)16.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 6.74
Semifinal 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.13 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 3.00
Semifinal 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40
Quarterfinal 1:Brett Simpson (USA) 14.67 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.77
Quarterfinal 2:Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.33
Quarterfinal 3:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.93 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.27
Quarterfinal 4:Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.76
Current ASP World Title Race Top 5 (after Quiksilver Pro France):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 48,000 pts
2.Jordy Smith (ZAF) 40,750 pts
3.Mick Fanning (AUS) 39,500 pts
4.Taj Burrow (AUS) 32,250 pts
5.Dane Reynolds (USA) 32,000 pts
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Mick Fanning claimed his second consecutive Quiksilver Pro France Saturday, besting current ASP World No. 1 Kelly Slater. Credit: © Scholtz / ASP
Video: Kelly Slater scores his first perfect 10. Credit: Quiksilver Pro France