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After barely squeaking by the first rounds of competition at the Quiksilver Pro France, Kelly Slater showed his true colors early Friday morning, winning the tour stop for the first time in his career.
Stop No. 7 of 10 on the 2012 tour was the Quiksilver Pro France at La Graviere in Southern France. The thumping barrels and six foot swell of La Grav proved to set the boys from the men. And that’s exactly what it did.
Kelly Slater (USA) 40, struggled early in the Quiksilver Pro France, just not able to find his traditional rhythm. In both the 4th and 5th rounds Slater looked off his game, winning his heats by under one point in each. But as the stakes get higher, Kelly turns it on.
The Quarterfinals turned out to be a complete Slater Show, landing a 9.93 wave and backing it up with a perfect 10, against Keiren Perrow (AUS), 35. Slater was fired up and that momentum carried over into the semi-finals and finals when surfing resumed Friday morning.
With the swell slowing, the boys hit the water wasting little time to collect high scoring waves. Wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, knocked John John Florence (HAW), 19, by .10 points, while Slater knocked out Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, in their semi-final heats.
When the “hooter” sounded for the start of the Quiksilver Pro France Finals it was all Slater early. Within the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute final, Slater had an impressive 7.93 wave and a 9.33 from some impressive tube rides. But Reynolds wasn’t done and fought hard with his own barrels and aerial attempts. At the end of the heat it just wasn’t enough to dethrone the reigning 11-time ASP World Champion.
With the win in France, Kelly Slater moves into the 2nd place standing right behind Parkinson, with plenty of time left to make a run at his 12th title.
The 8th stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be held in Portugal from October 10 -12, 2012.
Current ASP WCT Top 5 (After Quiksilver Pro France)
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) – 46, 200 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) – 45, 450 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) – 43,000 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) – 39,150 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) – 31,900 pts
Who do you think will win the 2012 ASP World Championship tour? Post your favorite in the comments below.
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