Aritz Aranburu

The Quiksilver Pro France presented by Orange, Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, got back in motion today at the event’s main venue of Les Bourdaines in consistent-but-testing five-foot (1.5 metre) waves.

Battling against elements with strong currents coming into the equation, Round 2 competitors put on a show of strategic game plans and athletic ss, holding their line-up positions and taking off on fast-breaking five-to-six foot wave faces to grab their Round 3 tickets.

With most top seeds getting the job done in various ways, from solid scores to tight heat results, surprise came with the eliminations of highly-touted competitors Jeremy Flores (FRA), 21, and defending champion Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, losing to Aritz Aranburu (EUK), 23, and ASP Dream Tour veteran Greg Emslie (ZAF), 32, respectively, creating the biggest upsets of the day.

Emslie eliminated Buchan in the dying minutes of their exchange, netting a solid 8.00 point score to stamp his authority and get away with the win. Emslie, ASP World No. 33, was able to catch-up with Buchan’s early lead using his experience and patience to wait for a good opportunity and rush to victory.

“It’s super challenging out there and I knew that we’d be getting 4s and 5s and it would come down to whoever got that one smoker,” Emslie said. “That wave came to me right at the end of the heat and was able to stand-up for me really well. I was stoked when I heard the score.”

Emslie, a former runner-up in the Quiksilver Pro France (2007), has not had any stellar results on tour this year, the South African sitting on four 17th places and a couple of 33rds, and will be looking to get through another few rounds to get back into the ASP Top 27, the re-qualifying group for next year’s ASP World Tour.

“For sure, I was definitely thinking about Ace winning here last year,” Emslie said. “I was also thinking about when I was in the Final the last time I came here to so that gave me a bit of confidence. I’m currently sitting 33rd right now, but Europe is a great place for you to bang out a few good results and if you can remain consistent, you can really make some ground up.”

Aranburu caused the other major upset of the day by eliminating current ASP World Tour No. 19, Flores, in Heat 8, and advancing through to Round 3 for the second time this year. Aranburu, who tamed the fast lefthanders of Les Bourdaines using his powerful and vertical backhand attack, led the exchange from start to finish to defeat national surf star Flores, peaking with a 7.50 point ride en route to victory.

"I was warming up my legs before the heat because I knew I would need them strong for the heat,” Aranburu said. “There are some heavy sections out there and you have to complete your maneuvers to get the bigger scores."

Aranburu, who has finished a disappointing 33rd in all ASP World Tour events but one this year (in Tahiti where he reached the Semifinals), gave himself a bit of air today his result guaranteeing an equal 17th place finish at least in the Quiksilver Pro France. The only Basque surfer to ever qualify for the ASP World Tour, Aranburu’s backhand talent will be a threat to any of his upcoming opponents in the event.

"I knew Jeremy (Flores) would be really tough in these conditions,” Aranburu said. “Although he’s hurt a little bit, he’s still very dangerous out here. It’s an important part of the year for me. I have had only 33rds and one 3rd so I think 3 isn’t necessarily my lucky number. I’m happy to advance through to Round 3 and hopefully I can keep going."

Kai Otton (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 16, was another of today’s standouts, the renowned goofy-footer putting on a solid performance to oust ASP Dream Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (California, USA), 25. Otton, who chose the inside lefthanders to show his ss to the ASP judging panel, surfed twelve waves throughout the 30-minute heat finding his rhythm despite the strong current washing down the beach.

“I just tried to keep busy, it is a tricky rip and there is a lot of water moving around and obviously I didn’t want to paddle against it and would rather catch waves. So that’s what I did, kept catching waves.”

Posting a convincing 14.26 point score to Curran’s low 5.17 point combination of two scores, Otton stuck to his game plan and will surf in Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro France.

“Obviously I didn’t start very well this year but I feel I am in form now and surfing pretty good,” Otton said. “I had a good result at Jeffreys Bay and got through a few rounds at Trestles so it would be good to keep it going here. I love France and there’s some swell so it’s looking good.”

Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.34 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 10.37
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.84 def. David Weare (ZAF) 9.50
Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.84 vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.13
Heat 8: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.23
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.26 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 5.17
Heat 10: Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.17 def. Michael Picon (FRA) 11.57
Heat 11: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.33 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.33
Heat 12: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 12.33 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.83
Heat 13: Dean Morrison (AUS) 10.50 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 10.17

Heat 14: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 15: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Roy Powers (USA)
Heat 16: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)

2009 British Longboard Union champions

The final round of the British Longboard Championships was held last weekend at Gwithian, based at the Sunset Surf Cafe.

Surf was very small first thing requiring the Juniors/U16's and Ladies in first, but during the afternoon surf picked up from an expected swell, giving the Finals of the Open and Masters a clean 2-3 ft round the corner at South Godrevy.

Ben Skinner is the new British Longboard Union champion

The overall results are:

Open: Ben Skinner
Juniors: Trevellyan Garland
Ladies: Grace Davies
Masters: Adrian Howell

The interim event results are...


1. James Parry
2. Sam Bleakley
3. Ben Skinner
4  Ben Howey Juniors

1. Matt Travis
2. Mike Lay
3. Trevellyan Garland
4. Max Welland


1. Grace Davies
2. Marina Lee
3. Nicola Bunt
4. Becky Stanhope
5. Vicky Johnson


1. Paul Keenan
2. Adrian Howell
3. Minnow Green
4. Ray Lee

In the new events of U16's

1. Louis Mavor
2. Keiren Fuzzle
3. Liam Curtis
4. Joe Hornbuckle
5. Ashley Wright

1. Jenna Richards
2. Lucy Howell
3. Lucy Kent

This was a great finale to the season and a big thanks to all our sponsors, the Sunset Surf Cafe who supplied the venue,food,location and band, Skinners Brewery for the prizes, Swiss and Swallow for the Tee's and the support of Rocky Point, Gwithian Beach and the lifeguards.

Dane Reynolds

Round 1 and the opening four heats of Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France got underway today with the world’s best surfers detonating in punchy three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) peaks at Les Bourdaines beachbreak.

Event No. 7 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro France was treated to some fantastic surfing throughout the opening day of the waiting period, with the world’s best surfers letting loose in the playful beachbreaks while the event wildcards stamped their authority as real contenders amongst the ASP Top 45.

Dane Reynolds (USA), 23, current ASP World No. 11, is coming hot off the heals of his best results on the ASP Dream Tour, a 3rd in South Africa and a 2nd in Southern California, and continued to push the limits of high-performance surfing today at the Quiksilver Pro France.

Opening with a blistering 8.83 out of a possible 10 with some rapid-fire forehand surfing, Reynolds then fell behind fellow Venturan Nathaniel Curran (USA), 24, who posted an impressive heat total of a total 15.40 out of a possible 20. Needing a score in the dying minutes, Reynolds detonated another roping righthander for grab and 8.50 and the advancement to Round 3.

“I knew that wave was going to offer up a score for me and all I had to do was surf it as best I can,” Reynolds said. “It had a good wall on it and I was able to do a few turns. It’s too bad for Nathaniel (Curran) as he was surfing really, really well, but I’m sure he’ll do well in his Round 2 heat.”

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, current ASP World No. 1, suffered his first setback in an otherwise near-flawless season last event, finishing 17th in Southern California. While the media speculated that a quasi-serious ankle injury was the culprit in Parkinson’s poor showing, the Australian showed no signs of injury today.

“Everyone has been talking about it (ankle injury) but I haven’t really noticed it,” Parkinson said. “It feels fine today and I feel like I have full movement. Obviously, I didn’t have the result I wanted at the last event, but everyone has a bad one and hopefully I’ve gotten mine out of the way already.”

With extreme tide fluctuations wreaking havoc upon the consistency of the Les Bourdaines lineup, Parkinson effortless posted excellent scores with both backhand and forehand ripping.

“It’s pretty tricky out there but there are definitely some pretty fun ones coming through,” Parkinson said. “It can be tricky with the tide changes. The waves looked really fun this morning, but as the tide’s ped, some of the good ones are breaking inside and the others are breaking out the back. Looking forward to a few days off now and excited to get back out there.”

Julian Wilson (AUS), 20, led the wildcard charge at today’s Quiksilver Pro France, besting veteran compatriots Bede Durbdige (AUS), 26, and Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, in Round 1 of competition.

“I’ve done a few of these events as a wildcard before and the approach of ‘just go for broke’ has kind of gone out the window now. I look at these heats as opportunities to establish myself and good training against these guys. I hope to be up at this level of competition in one to two years and this is great experience.”

Joining Wilson in posting Round 1 heat wins today were fellow wildcards Joan Duru (FRA), 20, and Patrick Beven (FRA), 31.

The afternoon saw some electric surfing as Round 2 moved through the opening four heats, and some big names avoided elimination at the Quiksilver Pro France.

Following the close Round 2 victory of former ASP World Champion (2007) and current ASP World No. 2, Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, another former ASP World Champion in C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, survived one of the most exciting heats of the year.

The current ASP World No. 4, who had all nine of his surfboards stolen his first night in France, was comboed by wildcard Alain Riou (PYF), 26, before snapping another surfboard in the powerful Les Bourdaines shorebreak. Grabbing a spare board he had never surfed before, Hobgood returned to the lineup where he proceeded to tube-ride his way out of the combination situation and to a Round 2 victory.

“We all have a breaking point and a lot of things went through my mind and I was just wondering how much worse it could get,” Hobgood said. “I was comboed, my board was broken and I know my back-up one is not even that good. If the ocean didn’t turn on I would have had a nervous breakdown (Laughs). But whatever, I am happy to get through that heat.”

Upsets continued through the final heat of the day with journeyman campaigner Phillip MacDonald (AUS), 30, taking down current ASP World No. 3 Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, in Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France. The powerful Australian man-handled the running lefthanders on his backhand, posting an impressive 16.90 out of a possible 20.

Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.67, David Weare (ZAF) 9.10, Chris Ward (USA) N/S
Heat 2: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11.67, Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.00, Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.60
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.50, Timmy Reyes (USA) 6.10, Drew Courtney (AUS) 5.83
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 10.16, Heitor Alves (BRA) 7.80
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.10, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 7.14
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.33, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.67, Dean Morrison (AUS) 8.53
Heat 7: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.37, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.03
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.44, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.40, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 7.33
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.53, Alain Riou (PYF) 11.67, Mick Campbell (AUS) 7.26
Heat 10: Patrick Beven (FRA) 11.83, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.54, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.97
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.74, Roy Powers (HAW) 9.00, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 7.50
Heat 12: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.74, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.17, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 7.17
Heat 13: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.33, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 15.60, Jay Thompson (AUS) 6.56
Heat 14: Tim Boal (FRA) 11.30, Michael Picon (FRA) 10.66, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.60
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.17, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 11.87, Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.00
Heat 16: Dustin Barca (HAW) 10.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.34, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 4.63

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.83 def. Gabriel Villaran (PER) 6.30
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Alain Riou (PYF) 14.83
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.33 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.17
Heat 4: Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 16.90 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.13