FREE Standard Shipping on Orders Over $75

Racks and Accessories to Organize, Store, and Display Your Boards & Gear

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mick Fanning Claims the Quik Pro France Title, Widens His Lead Over Slater at #1

By Andrew Sachs
Mick Fanning defeated Gabriel Medina to claim the Quik Pro France title, finally breaking through for his first win of the season.  Combined with Kelly Slater's ouster in the quarterfinals, Mick's win opened up a 5,000 point cushion over Slater at the top of the standings in the race for the 2013 world title.  It's important to note that the world champ is crowned based on his best 8 out of 10 events, so the current standings are not the true point totals that will be used to calculate the champ.  That said, Mick has no worse than a 9th place finish this season, meaning even if he bombed the last two events, he still would have a strong shot at ending up on top.  Slater and the rest of the field have their work cut out in the last two events in Portugal and Hawaii.

The hottest surfer in France had to be Filipe Toledo.  The rookie Brazilian was having a pretty quiet season before busting loose in the punchy beach breaks at the two contest spots, La Graviere and Le Penon.  He let the field know it was on in round 3 when he dominated Jeremy Flores, boosting a huge alley oop in the process, the move of the contest (video below).  Filipe continued his hot form, pulling a huge upset by knocking off Kelly Slater in the quarterfinals.  But then in the semifinals, fellow Brazilian Gabriel Medina pulled out some airs of his own to knock Filipe out of the competition and advance to the finals.

Mick Fanning meanwhile was marching through the other half of the draw.  He took out John John in the quarterfinals with relative ease, posting wave scores of 8 and 9 early in the heat before John John could even get any real waves scored.  Next up for Mick was his mate Joel Parkinson, their 20th heat surfed against each other.  Mick, the rankings #1, was able to edge out Parko, the defending title holder, in a closely fought heat that finished 16.10 to 15.03.

The finals matchup of Fanning vs. Medina went off, unfortunately, as the wave conditions were deteriorating.  Mick jumped on the first wave of the heat, snapping 3 strong turns off the top, and grabbing a 7.83 for the early lead.  Mick and Medina then traded 6 point waves before Medina stomped out another air rotation for an 8.50 to move into the lead.  With 7 minutes left in the heat, Mick put together a projection floater - top turn - tail throw to score a 8.83 and jump back into the lead.  As the tide dropped, Medina couldn't find the left he needed over the last few minutes, and Mick claimed the crown, 16.66 to 15.00.

WCT Standings after 7 Events:
  1. Mick Fanning, 51900
  2. Kelly Slater, 45900
  3. Jordy Smith, 39700
  4. Taj Burrow, 39400
  5. Joel Parkinson, 38950
The WCT next travels to Portugal for the Rip Curl Pro, October 9-20.

Event 4: Kelly Slater Repeats as Volcom Fiji Pro Champ
Event 5: Joel Parkinson Surfs to the Oakley Pro Bali Title
Event 6: Ace Buchan Conquers Teahupo'o and the Billabong Pro Tahiti
Event 7: Taj Burrow Knocks off Julian Wilson to Claim 2013 Hurley Pro