Baguettes & Barrels: Welcome to the Quicksilver Pro France.
Following the conclusion of the final event of the European leg of the WQS, The Billabong Pro Cascais, our eyes turn to the beach breaks of Hossegor for the Quicksilver Pro France. Historically the European leg has been critical to a solid world title campaign. The back to back events of France and Portugal can create some serious momentum coming into the final event at Pipeline or leave contenders wondering where it all went wrong. Hossegor is a break that serves up some of the best beach breaks in the world providing world class barrels along one of Europe’s most consistent stretches of coastline. Despite this it’s also incredibly tidal and conditions can change completely within the space of a heat.
Following his win at the Hurley Pro – Trestles, Jordy Smith
has closed the gap on the top 3 after they where all eliminated early. Heading into France John John Florence
has a slight lead over Gabriel Medina
who has pushed early ratings leader Matt Wilkinson
back to 3rd. Jordy Smith moves into 4th while Kelly Slater
and Joel Parkinson
have made solid moves inside the top ten to take 5th & 6th respectively.
JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
: John is the current ratings leader and a former event champion, defeating Jadson Andre
in 2014. There is a difference to his surfing this year, John is hungrier and more focused that ever, reflecting on his positioning in the ratings, however he has failed to take advantage of fellow contenders being eliminated early in the last two events. This has historically been one of his strongest events picking up a 1st, 3rd and two 5th’s in his last 4 starts. The heaving barrels and ramps that Hossegor provide suit the explosive and unpredictable surfing from JJF that we all know and love.
John Rides Pyzel Surfboards
: Medina has the best record of any surfer in France over the last 5 years, bagging two wins, a second and two fifth place finishes. Now that’s some consistency! Last year it was Gabriel’s aerial game which took him to the top of the podium, no doubt he’ll be looking to replicate his form last year to try and catch John John in the ratings lead.
Gabriel rides FCS fins
: Kerrzy started slow this year with a sting of poor results in the Australian leg and Brazil before finding some form in the arguably better waves of J-Bay, Trestles and the Pacific. Kerr is still one of the best all round competitors on tour shaking his label as a small wave surfer with impressive results at waves such as Teahupoo & Pipeline which will come in handy given the current conditions in France.
Josh rides Rusty Surfboards.
: Quite like French wine, Andino’s surfing is getting better with age. Coincidently he is having his best year on tour sitting inside the top 10 coming into the European leg. Growing up surfing the beach breaks of San Clemente, Kolohe will feel more than at home in the beachies at Hossegor.
Kolohe rides Lost Surfboards.
: Ryan’s first year on tour has been one to forget with the Novocastrian failing to progress further than round 3. Ryan’s year hasn’t been all bad though, he has released some of the most highly talked about video parts this year and is currently sitting 9th on the WQS heading into Hawaii. Ryan is still searching for his breakthrough result and after a quarter final finish at Cascais he will be full of confidence.
All Photos WSL