Kai Otton: heavy turn

Strong currents and shifting four-to-six (1.5 – 2 metre) waves were enough to surf eight heats of Round 2 in the Quiksilver Pro France 2011, before calling competition off for the day due to onshore winds.

The event No. 8 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Tour plays a vital role in both the hunt for the 2011 ASP World Title and the requalification campaigns of the world’s best surfers, and has already bore witness to some major upsets in the opening days of competition.

The "Portuguese Tiger" Tiago Pires navigated this morning’s tricky conditions to upset current No. 5 on the ASP World Title rankings, Josh Kerr, in the opening heat of the morning.

“It’s really hard out there this morning,” Pires said. “There are some really good ones, but the water is moving so much. It’s challenging. I was fortunate to find a really good one that stayed open and I got a pretty decent barrel. Josh (Kerr) has been in really good form the last few events so I’m happy to get past him.”

Gabriel Medina, newcomer to the elite ASP Top 34 following September’s rotation, utilized his lethal backhand to take down Dusty Payne, in Round 2 of competition.

“Dusty (Payne) is such a good surfer and can get the score at any moment,” Medina said. “The lineup is very shifty and it’s very difficult to be in the correct spot. You just have to take off on waves and surf what you have. I’m very thankful to get through and hope the conditions clean up.”

When competition resumes, up first will be Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 29, and Miguel Pupo (BRA), 19, in Heat 9 of Round 2.

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 4: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.10 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.76
Heat 5: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 11.86
Heat 6: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.60 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 12.13
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.43 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.60
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.57 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.50

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 9: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 10: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 12: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)