Mick Fanning the reigning ASP World Champion, claimed his second, consecutive Quiksilver Pro France today, defeating current ASP World No. 1, Kelly Slater in pumping 6 -8 foot barrels at Les Culs Nus Beach.
“That was difficult,” Fanning said. “Kelly and I were talking out there about how we were trying to get in the spot. There was just a lot of water moving and it was super challenging”
Today’s win moves Fanning from 5th to 3rd on the ASP World Title Race rankings, well within striking distance of the frontrunner position moving into the final three events of the season.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do and the other guys have a couple of Finals on me,” Fanning said. “It’s a start. I’m going to go to Portugal and have a lot of fun.
Slater was in phenomenal form from the outset today, consistently racking up impressive scores and feeding off the energy of the ocean.
“This is what we live for,” Slater said. “This is insane. There are the craziest waves out there. You don’t want to get 6s, you want to get 10s.”
The iconic natural-footer did just that in his Semifinal bout, free-falling and recovering with supernatural ability on a solid forehand barrel, being spat out the the eruption of applause from the millions watching around the world. It wave marks only the second Perfect 10 on the ASP season, and the first for Slater.
However, in quickly-changing conditions in the Final, Slater found himself uncharacteristically out of rhythm only able to amass a 6.74 heat total.
“Ouch,” Slater said. “It was really difficult out there and I didn’t get much aside from a few poundings. Congrats to Mick for finding a couple of scores out there.”
Today’s Runner-Up finish sees Slater cementing his position as ASP World No. 1 heading into the remainder of the season.
Jordy Smith from South Africa, the current ASP World No. 2, was unable to find a rhythm in his morning’s Quarterfinals match-up, falling to Fanning and finishing Equal 5th.
“There are not many good ones out there,” Smith said. “It’s kind of a diamond-in-the-rough situation. That’s the way it goes though – you win some, you lose some. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t get any waves out there for that heat, but that’s okay.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Mick Fanning (AUS)16.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 6.74
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.13 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 3.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1:Brett Simpson (USA) 14.67 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.77
QF 2:Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.33
QF 3:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.93 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.27
QF 4:Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.76
CURRENT ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5:
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 48,000 pts
2.Jordy Smith (ZAF) 40,750 pts
3.Mick Fanning (AUS) 39,500 pts
4.Taj Burrow (AUS) 32,250 pts
5.Dane Reynolds (USA) 32,000 pts