Article

Kelly Slater Wins in France

Slater beats Dane Reynolds in the Final to grab his third win of 2012

| posted on October 05, 2012

Slater hoists his first ever Quik Pro France trophy on the podium. Photo courtesy of Quiksilver

Kelly Slater, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion, claimed his 51st elite tour victory today, besting Quiksilver’s wildcard Dane Reynolds in a hard-fought Final to take out the Quiksilver Pro France. Twenty years after his first professional win held in France, Kelly Slater adds the Quiksilver Pro France to his impressive list of achievements. Kelly got the trophy from 5 time world champion Stephanie Gilmore in front of an amazing crowd.

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 3- to 5-foot 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 pulled a 10 out of his hat at the end of the heat, it would have been pretty rad.”

Poised from start to finish, Slater captured his third event win of 2012 in France. Photo courtesy of Quiksilver

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 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 because Parko, John John and I did well here at this event.”

Reynolds was a standout from the opening round of the Quiksilver Pro France, consistently posting high scores and wowing the masses with his tube-riding prowess. Unfortunately for Reynolds, conditions did not cooperate in the Final against Slater. “That was a lot of fun out there,” Reynolds said. “I just really like these waves and I wasn’t really worried about competing or winning the heat. I always put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe not on winning but to surf well. I’ve liked every day of this event. Yesterday was intense and challenging and the day before was the same. Today was just perfect and fun. Today was a playground, you can’t ask for any better than that.”

No longer a full-time competitor on the ASP World Championship Tour, Reynolds is still regarded as one of the best and progressive surfers in the world and his performance at the 2012 Quiksilver Pro France once again validated his reputation. “When I was on tour full time, I would do maybe 20 events every year,” Reynolds said. “This year I’m planning on doing 10, and focusing on some other stuff. I’m still competing nearly full time, but I’m just not in a World Title race or anything like that. I feel like when you’re surfing contest full time, you’re constantly trying to refine your surfing act whereas I’ve been trying to focus on exploring new ways of surfing or new lines this year. I think I’m surfing the best I ever have and to come to France and surf with John John in perfect 6-foot waves is really the best thing ever. It has been a great event.”

John John Florence, completing in his first full year on the elite ASP WCT, further solidified his position as 4th in the world today despite falling to Reynolds in the Semifinals. “Obviously, I would have wanted to make the Final,” Florence said. “It went into a very close heat and I would rather lose by 3 points points away than to lose with a 0.1 difference – it feels like I was a cutback away but I’m very happy with making the Semifinals. The waves have been all-time every single day, just crazy shorebreak barrels and it’s been a lot of fun.

Currently sitting at ASP WCT No. 4, the young Hawaiian is well within the hunt for the 2012 ASP World Title heading into the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Portugal. “I can’t wait for Portugal,” Florence said. “It’s pretty similar to this, maybe a little bit more organized and I can’t wait to get some waves. Today’s result is a keeper for sure, but I think I’m pretty far away in the title race. We’ll see what happens.”

With today’s Equal 3rd place finish, Joel Parkinson, moves into the frontrunner position on the 2012 ASP WCT ratings, but the Australian has foregone celebrating in favor of focusing on the road ahead in Portugal. “I can’t wait for Portugal,’ Parkinson said. “It would be nice to get a win over there as the race is shaping up to come down to the end. Hopefully, if the waves are anything like this, it will be another amazing event.”

The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be in 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 3: 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

  • Whamo

    It was a great contest, but Ace got burned by the judges, again.

  • Rob

    Nah, Ace´s surf is really clean and stylish, but lets face it, he does not have what it takes to have big wins. Top 10 is just fair enough for him. Great comp all around, sick to watch Dane going for it. cheezz

  • RH

    Ace usually gets way overscored on his backhand, given that his bottom turns are goofy tailstomp affairs, but I thought he got undervalued for his frontside in-the-tube takeoff earlier in the comp… but I guess they don’t care if you even get tubed on the drop, if none of it’s deep… which I guess explains why they did not give Ace more for his nice backside tube against Kelly, in which he eventually disappeared, but never came from deep. And if any part of your board was showing, forget it; you got nothin’. I just wish they’d be that discerning about the difference between good reverses and lame reverses, or, for that matter, any turn… cuz a semi-carve is a lot lamer than a semi-tube-ride. I say, okay, don’t deduct points for falling off, but do deduct points for crabbing a turn, just like in various other judged sports… cuz a few of these supposedly best in the world tour guys do some pretty awful turns, in the more high-performance venues.

  • Jo

    Dane’s 10 point wave against Mick was sick!!! So was Parko’s and Slater’s in their quarterfinal heats!

  • Boosh

    Ok, the Parko, Kelly semi was a dead heat, could have gone either way,
    (it went Kellys by nearly 2 points) Whatever….

    However, the 5th round heat result, Ace v Kelly was disgraceful.

    The ASP must keep Kelly in the hunt. They can’t allow only Aussies to fight it out for the title. That would be financial suicide, they lose 40% of their audience.
    Go Kelly, you’re the best !!!!

  • marc

    Oh really, Kelly wins. Tell me some news!