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News provided by ASP World Tour on 20 September 2005

Quiksilver has announced that Dane Reynolds (USA) and Miky Picon (France) will receive wildcards into the Quiksilver Pro France, the ninth event on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, where they will take on the world’s top 45 surfers.

As a wildcard, Reynolds has been creating havoc with the world’s best surfers as he takes his freesurfing approach to competition, pulling out his trademark, high risk aerial manoeuvres which gain big points under the new ASP judging criteria which rewards creative surfing.

And Picon, who is currently ranked number eight on the second-tier ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), the highest-rated European with a good chance of qualifying for next year’s WCT, has the advantage of local knowledge at the famous Hossegor beachbreaks.

Another wildcard will be awarded to the winner of the Quiksilver Trials, which are due to be held in Hossegor, France, on Wednesday 21 September, surf-permitting.

The Quiksilver Trials competitors will include Jeremy Flores (France), Marlon Lipke (Germany), Alain Riou (Tahiti) and Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas, who recently won the Quiksilver King of the Groms, an international competition for under-16 surfers.

Event organizers have also selected the two main podium sites for the $US270,000 Quiksilver Pro France, which has a competition window from Friday 23 September to Sunday 2 October, 2005, and is a critical event for the world title race.

The podiums are set up at La Graviere and La Nord, two classic breaks in the South-West French town of Hossegor, with a backup site at Lafitenia, St Jean de Luz, if the swell gets huge. Last year La Nord delivered perfect three to four metre (eight to 12 foot) surf for the final day of the Quiksilver Pro.
With four wins this year, six-time world champion Kelly Slater is currently leading the ratings by more than 1,000 points ahead of three-time and current world champion Andy Irons (7,574 points – 6,528). Both have won in France but Irons is the defending event champion, having won the past two Quiksilver Pro France titles, and making the finals three years in a row.

“I’m looking forward to France,” Irons said. “France has been really good to me the past three years, I’ve been in the final every year, so I’m really looking forward to going back there and hopefully get a good result.”

After his win at the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Quiksilver this week, Slater is also keen to get to France: “It's always been a good event for me at Hossegor and I really love the waves there,” said Slater. “It's an event where we always tend to get great barreling waves. It's always interesting competing there as guys who you think you've got the wood on sometimes come back at you with huge scores. A couple of years ago, Shea Lopez opened the heat against me with a 9.8. He was surfing on his backside and that day they weren't doing so well, so you always have to be aware of what the other guy is doing.

“I hear the sandbars at the locations are pumping right now too so I really can't wait to get there. We've had a lot of storms off the east coast of the US this year and they normally head up north and cross the Atlantic. Ophelia is looking like doing that now so that should serve up some good swell for the opening rounds. With nearly every event on the tour scoring epic waves this year it's like every event has to try to live up to the last one."

It’s going to be a battle royale. Tune into the live webcast of the Quiksilver Pro France at and The broadcast will be in four languages – English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.


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