Sometimes smaller conditions force creativity -- a fact not lost on those competing in Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro France. Only needing three-and-a-half hours to finish the round, the contest director picked the optimum window for waves. The surfers did the rest.
Gabriel Medina gave everybody something to think about at the end of the day when he clicked in a 10-point ride for a massive backside rotator. He finished with an 18.17 heat score, and eliminated South African goofy-footer Travis Logie, who had a solid 17.37 point heat. After winning here in 2011, Medina has the French beachbreaks on lock. He knows where the best ramp sections are and how to capitalize on them. He hasn't been having the year he wanted, which is sort of sad when you consider that it's almost as if he's been penalized for being one of the best aerialists in the world, getting sevens for moves few others can do. It's great to see him surf well and get rewarded for it. At this stage in the game he's the one to beat.
"I feel good, I've had a couple fun waves," he said when the spray settled.
Earlier in the round Kauai's Sebastian Zietz got hot against Aussie veteran Bede Durbidge. Zietz has been surfing fast, precise and radical, really maturing into a legit world tour surfer. As this contest goes on he's going to prove to be a challenge for anyone to beat.
"This is amazing, anyone complaining with the waves today is kind of crazy," smiled Zietz. "I'm stoked to be on the tour and stoked on my performance, as long as I don't get last I'm happy."
John John Florence may feel otherwise. The Hawaiian prodigy has yet to earn himself a win on tour this year. He took a step closer when he dispatched Matt Wilkinson, but now Florence and Zietz will face one another in Round 3. If Zietz really meant what he said, he'd let Florence win, but the two have been sparring against one another for years, which makes this matchup all more interesting.
Brett Simpson earned a well-deserved and much-needed heat win against Nat Young. Simpson is on the cusp of qualifying for next season and he was surfing like a man possessed -- which is exactly what he needs to do.
"Nat's been on a tear this season, I knew it was going to be tough but I like these little waves, it's kind of what I surf a lot at home," said Simpson Michel Bourez won a fairly close heat against Damian Hobgood, which really puts Hobgood in danger of falling off the tour. He's has had some incredible performances this year where he was narrowly edged out, and now the Florida veteran only has two events left to gain some much needed points.
For now it looks like the surf's on it's way down and will remain that way through the weekend. There are some great match ups on the board for Round 3 when things resume. Stay tuned.
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) vs Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs Kieren Perrow (AUS)
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.80 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 16.17
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.03 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.50
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.77 def. Nat Young (USA) 13.33
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 17.57 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 14.83
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) 14.77 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.93
Heat 11: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 17.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.43
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.17 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 17.37