- 05 October 2012 | Surfing
Kelly Slater has conquered the Quiksilver Pro France for the first time in his professional surfing career. A 12th world title is in the making.
The Floridian wave rider claimed his 51st elite tour victory after beating wildcard Dane Reynolds, in a hard-fought final, at La Graviere. Slater wasted little time in the final, collecting a 7.93 and a 9.33 in the opening 10 minutes for impressive tube rides on his forehand.
While Reynolds would battle back with his own barrels and aerial attempts, it would not prove enough in the end allowing Slater to collect his first French victory in two decades.
"It has literally been 20 years," Slater said. "I had my first win here 20 years ago and that’s pretty crazy. Obviously when you go out there you want to win the heat, but I would have been really stoked if Dane (Reynolds) pulled a 10 out of his hat at the end of the heat, it would have been pretty rad."
Today marks Slater’s third win of the 2012 season (Fiji, Trestles, France) and vaults him up to 2nd on the ASP WCT rankings, well within striking distance of ASP World Title No. 12 with three events remaining this year.
"When you start working the numbers a little bit, I got that 500 pointer and a 13th, two bad results, already," Slater said.
"Parko (Joel Parkinson) is sitting on a 9th and a 5th. If I couldn’t get past Parko today, it would have put a lot of pressure on me, but this has now put the pressure back on Mick (Fanning) because Parko, John John (Florence) and I did well here at this event."
Reynolds was a standout from the opening round of the Quiksilver Pro France, consistently posting high scores and wowing the masses with his tube-riding prowess. Unfortunately for Reynolds, conditions did not cooperate in the Final against Slater.
"That was a lot of fun out there," Reynolds said. "I just really like these waves and I wasn’t really worried about competing or winning the heat. I always put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe not on winning but to surf well".
"I’ve liked every day of this event. Yesterday was intense and challenging and the day before was the same. Today was just perfect and fun. Today was a playground, you can’t ask for any better than that."
With today’s Equal 3rd place finish, Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, moves into the frontrunner position on the 2012 ASP WCT ratings, but the Australian has foregone celebrating in favor of focusing on the road ahead in Portugal.
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal from October 10 – 21, 2012.
Quiksilver Pro France 2012 Final:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 17.26
2 – Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.00