2005 Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Report

"Vagues bon, tres bon"SURF: 2-3 foot punchy lefts to 4-5 foot soft rights to HEAVY DREDGING 6 foot A-frame PITS, all in the same day.
EVENTS HELD: Men's Round 1, Heats 1-12
NATURE'S CALL: This is only the start. Big Bay of Biscay swell on the way.
PREDICTED: Shacks, shacks and more shacks…

"I can't believe how big it is out there."–Shea Lopez

"I just spent 25 minutes trying to paddle out."–Timmy ReyesThings change in France. Quickly.

This morning it was flat at La Graviere. After a long wait for the fullness to recede, Rod Brooks called the contest on and Damien Hobgood, Mick Lowe and Tim Curran paddled to bouncy 2 foot waves. Three hours later, Kelly Slater, Luke Egan and Jeremy Flores stood on the sharply angled beach by the water's edge at the foot of 6 foot heaving barrels. Three hours.

That's all it took for an increasing swell to combine with light offshores and a radically dropping tide to turn a wave that looked like an average day at Huntington into a good one at Pipe.

In other words, it got pretty fricken' epic.A lot of people ripped before Heat 8, but after witnessing what came later, I can't remember any of it. As the swell began to pulse, Kelly Slater opted against surfing a soft right a hundred yards north of the contest area and instead paddled out to a virtual shorepound that was detonating right in front. Young Jeremy Flores saw what happening and sprinted down to the where Kelly was entering the water. A few minutes later, the Reunion Islander and wildcard got spit out of the first (but certainly not the last) pit of the day and did a celebratory air steps away from a frothing French crowd. Then Kelly, riding the now yellowing 6-1 Simon Anderson that's won him three contests on this year, clicked into gear by pulling in below sea level grinder and doggy dooring it out. 6-7 or seven barrels later he had won himself the heat. Andy paddled out next and pig dogged a deep, deep left for a 9.87. Not to be outdone, Bruce cruised out in the last heat of the day in waves ideally suited to his tube maestro game, and got a ten. The wave: a no back wedge where he took off late, pulled in no hands, stood tall and then came out – check this – a full two seconds after the spit. What a show.And it's only getting better. Right now, in the dying light, hundreds of people are still on the beach watching the Top 44 freesurfing double overhead, offshore tubes. As I write this, I'm getting seriously distracted because every time I look up I see a white wetsuit streaking through yet another Peugot sized cave.This is going to be sick.

(1st place advances to Round 3; 2nd & 3rd go to Round 2)Heat # 1: 1st – Damien Hobgood, 2nd – Tim Curran, 3rd – Michael Lowe
Heat # 2: 1st – Cory Lopez, 2nd – Shea Lopez, 3rd – Marcelo Nunes
Heat # 3: 1st – Paulo Moura, 2nd – Nathan Hedge, 3rd – Kirk Flintoff
Heat # 4: 1st – {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, 2nd – Renan Rocha, 3rd – Travis Logie
Heat # 5: 1st – Phil MacDonald, 2nd – Guilherme Herdy, 3rd – Darren O’Rafferty
Heat # 6: 1st – Taj Burrow, 2nd – Dane Reynolds, 3rd – Mark Occhilupo
Heat # 7: 1st – Patrick Bevan, 2nd – Peterson Rosa, 3rd – Trent Munro
Heat # 8: 1st – Kelly Slater, 2nd – Jeremy Flores, 3rd – Luke Egan
Heat # 9: 1st – And Irons, 2nd – Taylor Knox, 3rd – Maz Quinn
Heat #10: 1st – Mikael Picon, 2nd – Mick Fanning, 3rd – Richie Lovett
Heat #11: 1st – Dean Morrison, 2nd – Shane Beschen, 3rd – Sunny Garcia
Heat #12: 1st – Bruce Irons, 2nd – Lee Winkler, 3rd – Tiago Pires
Heat #13: 1st – Luke Stedman, 2nd – Bede Durbidge, 3rd – Fred Patacchia
Heat #14: 1st – Raoni Monteiro, 2nd – Chris Ward, 3rd – Tom Whitaker
Heat #15: 1st – Tim Reyes, 2nd – Jake Paterson, 3rd – Kalani Robb
Heat #16: 1st – Danny Wills, 2nd – Victor Ribas, 3rd – Greg EmslieUPCOMING ROUND 2 HEATS:
(1st place advances to Round 3; 2nd finishes =33rd)Heat # 1: Mick Fanning v. Jeremy Flores
Heat # 2: Trent Munro v. Maz Quinn
Heat # 3: Nathan Hedge v. Tiago Pires
Heat # 4: Fredrick Patacchia v. Dane Reynolds
Heat # 5: Tom Whitaker v. Guilherme Herdy
Heat # 6: Jake Paterson v. Renan Rocha
Heat # 7: Luke Egan v. Kirk Flintoff
Heat # 8: Taylor Knox v. Shea Lopez
Heat # 9: Richie Lovett v. Tim Curran
Heat #10: Peterson Rosa v. Shane Beschen
Heat #11: Mark Occhilupo v. Greg Emslie
Heat #12: Darren O’Rafferty v. Victor Ribas
Heat #13: Travis Logie v. Kalani Robb
Heat #14: Marcelo Nunes v. Chris Ward
Heat #15: Michael Lowe v. Bede Durbidge
Heat #16: Sunny Garcia v. Lee Winkler