Michel Bourez

With the completion of the final event of this year’s ASP World Tour at Pipeline and after Mick Fanning’s second ASP World title crowning, the official list of qualifiers for the 2010 ASP World Tour has been released.

From the record seven European representatives who competed on the 2009 ASP World Tour, three only have made the cut and will get another chance amongst the world’s best surfers next year starting their run at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia next February.

Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA), 21, despite pulling out of the last events due to an ankle injury, has once again secured his ticket for the elite of surfing, the French and European leader guaranteed to compete for a fourth consecutive year as a member of the ASP Top 45.

After another year of good surfing that saw the Frenchman culminate with an equal 9th place in the opening event in Australia as well as in Brazil, Flores managed to finish the year off ranked No. 25, inside the automatic re-qualifying Top 27 contingent, the young man confirming his status of best French and European surfer ever.

Having qualified as the youngest surfer ever in 2007 after winning the 2006 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), Flores went on to win the ASP Rookie of the Year award at the end of his first year, the talented surfer launching a successful career that will keep going in 2010 on the elite circuit.

While fellow French surfers Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), 31, and Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), 26, are back on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) next year along with Marlon Lipke (Algarve, DEU) and Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK), Flores will still be travelling with fellow ASP Europe competitors Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT), 28, and Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23.

Pires, who finished 2009 (his second year on tour) ranked No. 24, will be a serious asset for the 2010 ASP World Tour European contingent, the experienced Portuguese having confirmed his position as one of the world’s best surfers culminating with an equal 3rd place finish at the Quiksilver Pro France last September.

With his experience and solid skills, Pires has already showed how strong he was in both consistent barrels and punchy beachbreaks and will get a third consecutive year to compete against the world’s best and keep improving towards the ratings’ heights.

Closing the 2010 Euro-trio will be French Polynesian and Tahiti resident Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), the 2009 ASP World Tour rookie finishing No. 21 after the final event. Bourez, who had a slow start to his rookie year, climbed-up the ratings in the second half of the season netting a series of good results including an equal 5th place finish at the Hurley Pro Trestles in September, his best result on tour.

Renowned for his mind-blowing tuberiding approach and powerful backhand, Bourez has achieved his goal by requalifying for the 2010 ASP Top 45, and will approach his second year on tour with more experience and confidence.

Congratulations to Jeremy, Tiago and Michel for making the cut. All their heats will be webcast LIVE starting February 27, 2010 at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Australia.

SOURCE: ASP Europe