August 27: Australian surfers Michael Campbell (Port Macquarie, NSW) and Josh Kerr (Coolangatta, QLD) have confirmed their spots on next year’s Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour by finishing first and second respectively at this year’s 20th Anniversary Rip Curl Pro Super Series in Seignosse, France.
For Campbell, aged 32, it is his second consecutive World Qualifying Series contest win after his first place finish at the 2006 Lacanau Pro last week. The double result has shot him straight into first place on the ASP Men’s WQS Ratings, 274 ratings points ahead of 18-year-old sensation Jeremy Flores (FRA).
The Rip Curl Pro Super Series is the highest rating WQS contest of the season and this year’s 20th anniversary helped draw some of the biggest names in surfing. Foster’s ASP World Tour stars such as Mick Fanning (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) mixed with former greats like Tom Curren (USA), Rob Machado (USA) and Tom Carroll (AUS) who in-turn mixed with future phenoms such as Flores, Ben Dunn (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS).
In the end though it all came down to two surfers and a 35-minute man-on-man final.
Campbell started the heat in the ideal way, posting a 9.17 score on his first decent ride. He added a quick 4.83 score and quickly took control of the heat.
Kerr fought hard to strike back, but failed to find the scores he had continually tallied all week. When Campbell added an 8.17 late in the heat Kerr was put in a ‘combination situation’, which meant he had to total two high scoring rides to fight back at the goofy-footer. The result was all but over.
“It’s pretty amazing – I can’t really believe it’s all happening this quick,” said Campbell. “I don’t think it will sink in until I go home and reflect by myself, but I’m just really happy right now and stoked for Josh and the other Aussie guys that qualified for the WCT at this event. It’s been an amazing day of surfing for me and a great day for Australian surfing.”