Quiksilver Pro France 2005: Event Preview

Just a few weeks ago in Japan, Andy Irons was picking up momentum and challenging Kelly Slater for the lead in the chase for the 2005 ASP World Title. It looked like we had the makings of another stellar world title race that just might come down to the last heat of the last event of the year.

Oh, how things have changed. With his victory at the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles last week, Kelly Slater is slowly but surely closing the door on his 7th world title. Each time he places higher than Andy Irons, he adds a little more breathing room to an ever-expanding lead in the ratings. After the Boost Mobile Pro, Kelly has a comfortable 1046 point lead. Which basiacally means that he needs to bomb out of the remaining three events, and Andy has to finish all of them well.

But, if Kelly should win the Quiksilver Pro France this week, all bets are done. He would then secure the 2005 crown even if Andy finishes runner-up.

So what will happen in France this year?

The French leg of the tour used to be known as the party stop on the tour. The WCT surfers would arrive into town at the same time of the year that most of the French people have their summer vacations. Parties would rage on into the night, and the surf was always hit or miss (usually miss). Many of you can probobly still remember the French events that were run in 1-2 foot surf with 10,000 french tourists lining the beach.

Well times have changed in the Dream Tour era.

Now, the Quiksilver Pro France has brought a bit more respectability to the waves in the area, and the massive French crowds have been replaced in recent years by epic French surf. The 2004 event was run in Sunset Beach-like conditions. 10-12 foot waves bore down on the French Coast, and the surfers savored every minute of it.

Surfers like Sunny Garcia, Kelly Slater, Andy & Bruce Irons, and Taj Burrow will be looking for repeat performances from last year’s event. Andy and Bruce, if you {{{recall}}}, were the first brother v. brother finalists in WCT history at last years event.

So who will win?

Seems like the timing is right for another epic French battle
With Slater looking to close the books on title #7, he seems extra motivated. He could win the event and cruise the rest of the year safely knowing that the title is his. But then again, Andy has won three titles in a row battling the Slater aura, so you just never know.

Either way, look for the action to heat up considerably with the predicted swell that is set to rock the 2005 Quiksilver Pro France.

And be sure to tune into the live webcast which can be seen at http://2005.ProFrance.Quiksilver-Europe.com or ASPWorldTour.com