WQS Update With Al Hunt

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Once again, another week of no WQS events but there was plenty happening in the Foster's Men's Tour with Mick Fanning opening up a big lead for a possible World Title clinch at Mundaka.

More than likely though, unless Mick wins at Mundaka, the Title will head off to Brazil, where it should be decided.

This week, however, I thought I would give you a rundown on the WQS qualifiers for the 2008 ASP World Tour, showing how they made it over the years.

Starting with Jordy Smith, he has a had a dream run compared to others and has only taken three years to qualify for the Dream Tour. Jordy ended his first year, 2005, after doing just 8 events in 172nd, 2006 in 26th doing 10 events and now, after 15 events, is well in the lead for a No. 1 finish.

Dane Reynolds is the first since Kelly Slater in 1991 to make the Dream Tour in their first year. Dane had done a few WQS events from 2002 each year, but never enough to consider qualifying.

Tiago Pires (pictured above) is the exact opposite of Dane, having been trying to qualify since 1999 where he ended 75th. Pires followed this rating with a 27th, 64th, 27th, 27th, 30th, 19th and 34th in 2006.

Tiago has had a long hard road on The Grind.

Ben Bourgeois is a returning Dream Tour competitor, having qualified in 2000 then again as first replacement in 2001, ending up 23rd, 25th and 28th on the WQS in 2004, 2005, 2006, just missing the cut each of these years.

Jay Thompson has been on the WQS since 2000, ending up around the 120-130th mark until 2005 where he was 29th, then in 2006 another good finish in 35th setting up a seeding position that he could attack the tour full on and has done so.

Jihad Kodhr is another relatively newcomer to the WQS, having started in 2004 ending up with a great rating of 51st. The next year, he jumped to 17th just missing the cut but enough to get him some starts on the Dream Tour as a seed replacement. Last year, Jihad ended up 32nd, and like Jay, was well placed for a full on attack of the WQS, which he has been able to do so far this year.

Rodrigo Dornelles qualified for the Dream Tour in 2000, and again via the WQS in 2001, but dropping out in 2002. Since then, Rodrigo clawed his way back to get in amongst the world's best last year, ending up 16th, and is currently qualifying on the Dream Tour in 25th spot. He may or may not need his WQS rating for 2008.

Luke Munro began his WQS career in 2003, ending up in 188th spot. The next year, he jumped to 56th, then 23rd, then last year in 18th to qualify for the Foster's ASP World Tour. Currently sitting in 40th on the Dream Tour, Luke is looking like he'll need his WQS rating to requalify for 2008.

Heitor Alves started his WQS career in 2005, ending up 67th, following up in 2006 with a 25th. Heitor, if he qualifies this year, will be another surfer who has done it very quickly.

Aritz Aranburu has been WQSing it since 2002, moving up the ratings to 70th in 2006 and now has had an amazing jump up to being currently 12th and looking like qualifying for the 2008 Dream Tour.

Miky Picon has been around for a long time. Seriously starting the WQS in 1998, but never really doing much ratings wise until 2002, where he ended up 33rd. Dropping back the next two years to 50th, then hitting the big time with a 15th in 2005. His Dream Tour debut in 2006 ended up in 38th, and being relegated back to the WQS. He has clawed his way back to 13th and a possible 2008 qualifying spot.

Kieren Perrow started his WQS career in 1997 with a 213th finish. This quickly jumped the next few years to 88th, 60th, 22nd then 7th to make the Dream Tour. Kieren's first year there saw him end up also in 7th. In 2003, he had his best rating of 6th, but unfortunately the following year, ended in 35th and with a WQS rating of 70th failed to requalify. Kieren has fought his way back to 14th, currently and should requalify for the 2008 ASP World Tour, but it's not a sure thing yet.

Neco Padaratz has been around since 1994, first qualifying for the Dream Tour in 1997 and staying until 2005. Neco regained elite tour status in 2007 with a 7th place WQS finish. Currently in 35th on the top tier, Neco may need his WQS rating to requalify, but is still in need of a good result. With the Brazilian WQS events coming up, look for a great result in front of his home crowd.

Gabe Kling started his WQS campaign in 2000 with a 151st rating, but quickly moved up the following years to 12th in 2006 to qualify for this year's Dream Tour. Gabe is currently 44th, so he must qualify via the WQS and is in need of one or two good results to assure it.

Dayyan Neve is another new century starter, ending up 124th in 2002. Dayyan jumped to 68th then 57th, before crashing back to 100th in 2005. Dayyan came back strong though last year to end up in 5th on the WQS and hitting the elite tour this year. Unfortunately, sitting in 38th, he may need his WQS ratings once again and needs a couple of results.

The last one I need to talk about is David Weare. Davey started in 1999 moving up the ratings from 109th to 13th in 2005 for a 2006 Dream Tour berth. Davey dropped out though with a 42nd year-end rating, but was strong in the WQS ending up 19th, just outside the cutoff. His current 18th is not good enough yet to requalify, especially seeing as there are a handful of surfers only a couple of hundred points less looking for a good end of year WQS event result to catapult them into the top 15 ASP World Tour qualifiers.

Well, that's it for this week.

Next week we have WQS events in Japan, Canaries, Mexico and USA so there should be plenty of action to talk about.

For more on the Foster’s World Championship Tour and the World Qualifying Series, visit ASPWorldTour.com

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