Almost There: Fanning and Parko Make it the Semis of the Quiksilver Pro France
CONDITIONS: 1-3 feet and offshore
HEATS HELD: Heats 3-8 of Round 4, Quarterfinals
NATURE'S CALL: Could be even smaller for the final
PREDICTIONS: Coolie kid final – just like last year
Joel Parkinson took out Taj Burrow in the Quarters
When Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson saw the surf today, they smiled. With La Graviere looking just like small Snapper, they were the men to beat and no one even sniffed them. For Fanning it was too easy. This is his draw in the contest since Round 1- Miky Picon, Ricky Basnett, Neco Padaratz and tomorrow, Troy Brooks. The first guy who should give him any problems will likely be Parko – on the other side of the draw – when they meet in the finals.
Parko hasn't had it so easy. He's been doing just enough to get through his heats, but he knew that wouldn't work against Taj. So today he decided to go off – his form the best it's been in a year. Taj, who absolutely ripped the tiny rights, found himself combo-ed after Joel slipped into, in his words, "a perfect snapping barrel," came out, did an air and scored a 9.5. Despite the small surf, this was definitely the heat of the contest and Parko's got to use it as motivation for starting a big run right now if he wants any shot at the title.
And the favorite? Fanning actually left a little room for Ricky Basnett in Round 4, but the rookie Saffa couldn't come anywhere near the 7.67 he needed in the last ten minutes of the heat. Later, in the quarters against Neco Padaratz, Mick left nothing to chance. He caught everything that moved and ruthlessly beat it to submission. "It seems that those surfers who sit and wait just get lost out there, you need to just get busy and get into the rhythm quickly," he said.
Who else is still in? How about Greg Emslie and Troy Brooks. For two surfers sitting 34th and 35th in the ratings, a berth in the semis must feel like a win. Both surfed well. Emslie's compact, full rail style is perfectly suited to little zippers like these and Brooks, finally recovered from a nasty knee injury suffered here last year, is on the best back to back contest run of his career. Could they beat Mick and Joel? Possible, but not likely.
Only three heats left. A demain, it's on.
Mick Fanning’s high-flying act got him to yet another semifinal
COMPLETE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
(1st advances to Semis; 2nd finishes =5th)
Heat # 1: Joel Parkinson def. Taj Burrow
Heat # 2: Greg Emslie def. Raoni Monteiro
Heat # 3: Mick Fanning def. Neco Padaratz
Heat # 4: Troy Brooks def. Rodrigo Dornelles
(1st advances to Final; 2nd finishes =3rd)
Heat # 1: Joel Parkinson v. Greg Emslie
Heat # 2: Mick Fanning v. Troy Brooks