Indeed the Beach Break Gods (oddly, of East Coast decent) shined down upon Round 1 of the Quik Pro France today at Hossegor, or maybe it was Seignosse, no, Landes? Or Aquitaine…Just pick one Quiksilver! Let's go with Hossegor.
Hossegor was firing. Everything you'd hoped it would be in a beachie for the Top 32 in the world (plus a couple wildcards and a couple injury replacements). The surf? You've seen the tape: relentless double-overhead r's and l's over a cush, sandy carpet. Just what the doctor ordered after whatever that was that they had to surf at Lowers a few weeks back (ew!).
Life on the beach — with not a cloud in the sky — was also just as French as you'd hoped it would be. Old man walking by wearing a beret, holding a baguette? F–king check. Mothers with their young that could distinguish Michel Bourez' hacks from 100 meters away, yelling "Magnifique!" at the sight? F–king check. Hot lil French dames sunnin' them taters for all the world to see? OK, that was almost absent, but when my woman wasn't looking, I spotted a few hiding up in the dunes. Check mate!
Can we talk about the surfing already? Fiiiiine. There were a few themes going down that will probably continue henceforth:
Julian Wilson looks unstoppable. Sure, the waves were a bit better in the morning than the arvo, but with a 9.5 and a 9.3, Julian was on a smoker grabbing the best boobs of the heat like my middle-school self when Tracy Ishikara said I could go to 2nd base with her: Julian took his time in them tubes.
Dane's Back. Now I know we've seen this show a few times. The pilot's brilliant, full of hacks and spontaneity and twists and turns, and then around episode (round) 3 or 5…the show loses its steam. But something about Dane's performance in Round 1 was maybe, kinda, gawd-I-hope-so different? As combos became the name of the game today, specifically in the tube-to-turn realm, Dane got tubed, then followed it with Dane-turns (he got a trademark yet?) Mr. Reynolds was awarded accordingly, and shit, beating Owen Wright and Seabass in firing surf ain't a cakewalk. Flashbacks of his wildcard performance at the Quik Pro back in 2012, anyone?
John's Back. And, like, back-back. Guy was untouchable in his Round 1 and clearly you could tell Hossegor's juice fit John's form. Dropping combos like his 9.93, of course he won the event last year and of course he got pitted in his heat but he also did a couple turns out there today that slung so much yogurt, it had the crowd reaching for their bowls of granola for a re-up on that cream. Cause the French live-well like that. *Actually, nix that, he was momentarily stoppable: By this dude blowing it on the water pony (see video below).
Mick, But You Already Knew That. In fact, you could've been hit in the face by John's yogurt from his Round 1 heat, putting you into an odd 2-day coma from which you would awake and utter, "Mick's in the Semis, right?" He's just that predictably consistent…and amazing at meaty Hossegor…or anywhere, really. Beyond his pitch-perfect form out there, it's his wave selection that really builds his momentz. Like the two screamers (more importantly the 9.73) that he pulled into out there today. Also, to be accurate, you would've never gotten that coma: John surfed two heats after Mick!
Surf should still be sick tomorrow, or at least like El Porto, if El Porto was taller, hotter and had way less STDs. Tune in!! –Beau Flemister
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Brett Simpson (USA) 14.84, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.84, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.90
Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.80, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.83, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 5.66
Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.90, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.94
Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.57, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.97, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.93
Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.00, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 6.37, Keanu Asing (HAW) 4.97
Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.73, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.73, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 8.87
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.76, Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.33
John John Florence (HAW) 18.60, Alejo Muniz (BRA), 10.93, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 2.83
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.40, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.84, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.50
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.70, Glenn Hall (IRL) 6.43, Nat Young (USA) 4.67
Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.40, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.10, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.90
C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.43, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.73, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.50
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)