John John Florence claimed victory at the Quiksilver Pro France in 8 to 10 foot barrels at Le Gardian.
Florence proved himself, throughout the competition, as a force to be reckoned with. He consistently posted the highest scores of each round and stayed calm and comfortable in ever changing conditions.
[pullquote]John John Florence found his first huge barrel of the day, notching a seven-pointer[/pullquote]
His win over Jadson Andre in the finals was secured by committed barrel rides and power surfing. The heat began slowly, with a few small scores posted — but then John John Florence found his first huge barrel of the day, notching a seven-pointer and a solid lead. Andre had a total of 4.57 by the midway point, while Florence backed up his score with a 5.00, for some big roundhouse turns. With 10-minutes left on the clock, Florence was still hard at his tube work, logging another 8.00, while Andre tried, but failed to find the scores he needed.
“It has felt like such a long event and I’m so pumped to get the win in the end,” Florence said. “We’ve had every type of condition for this event and even finishing in barrels was a lot of work. There was a lot of water moving out there and Jadson was always going to be a tough opponent. He looked super strong against Jordy in the Semi. Pumped on the win here and the support from the crowds was really impressive.”
After a slow start to the year, Florence has been on a roll, collecting a 3rd in Tahiti and a runner-up finish in Trestles, before taking the win today in the South of France. Florence has now moved from eighth to fifth place in the world rankings, putting him in contention for the 2014 world surfing crown.
Andre’s runner-up finish marks his first Finals heat since 2010 — moving him from 29th to 20th on the rankings, placing him inside the re-qualification cutoff.
“It’s been a long time since I got a result I’m happy with,” Andre said. “I feel like my surfing has been strong all year, but things haven’t gone my way. So stoked to make the final and hopefully that builds momentum for me for the rest of the season.”
[pullquote]He’s been in rhythm with the ocean all event. When everyone else is struggling, he’s out there dropping 10s[/pullquote]
Josh Kerr, who caused a major upset yesterday after eliminating Gabriel Medina during the quarterfinals, fought hard today, using impressive barrels in his semifinal matchup against Florence, but despite his best efforts he left competition in an equal 3rd.
“I always knew John was going to be a tough opponent out there,” Kerr said. “He’s been in rhythm with the ocean all event. When everyone else is struggling, he’s out there dropping 10s. I got on good wave, but that was about it. Semifinals feels good though. Breaks the curse somewhat in France for me so that’s good.”
The 11-time ASP World Champ and current No. 2, Kelly Slater, was looking to capitalise big after current frontrunner Gabriel Medina’s exit yesterday during the quarterfinals. Expecting a strong result in France, Slater’s dreams were crushed after he was unable to best his opponent Jordy Smith in this mornings match. Leaving him to go into the last events with less opportunity of gaining on Medina’s lead.
“It was difficult out there today and I just found myself out of position for most of the heat,” Slater said.” I haven’t felt like I’ve been in a rhythm for most of the year. There have been moments, but replicating the feeling where you’re confident things are clicking just hasn’t happened. Still in the race, but today was a missed opportunity. We’ll see what happens in Portugal.”
The next stop on the ASP World Championship Tour will be the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, running from 12th October – 23rd.
Words Louis Hall @LHall69
Quiksilver Pro France Final Results:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 16.00
2 – Jadson Andre (BRA) 4.57
Quiksilver Pro France Semifinal Results (1st Advances to Finals, 2nd Finishes Equal 3rd):
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 15.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.60
SF 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.67 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.84
Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Quarterfinal Results (1st Advances to Semifinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 5th):
QF 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.26
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.50 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.50