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FRANCE’S PATRICK BEVEN AND NEW ZEALAND’S MAZ QUINN - Join Dane Reynolds, Miky Picon and Jeremy Flores As Super Wildcards
News provided by ASP World Tour on 21 September 2005
Patrick Beven (Biarritz, France) and Maz Quinn (Gisborne, New Zealand) have won wildcards into the Quiksilver Pro France, joining invited wildcards Dane Reynolds (USA), Miky Picon (FRA) and Jeremy Flores (REU).
Beven, 26, won the Quiksilver Trials in half to one metre (2-3 foot) surf at the South West France beachbreak of La Graviere, Hossegor, today, defeating Maz Quinn in the final, with Portugal’s Tiago Peres and Frederick Robin (Reunion Island) placing third and fourth respectively.
Due to major injuries to several Top 45 surfers on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, the number of wildcards has been extended for the Quiksilver Pro France – with five surfers now getting the chance to take on the world’s best.
There are normally three wildcards in a 48-man WCT event and these were initially awarded to France’s Miky Picon and Californian Dane Reynolds, with another place reserved for the winner of the Quiksilver Trials.
However, three WCT surfers have withdrawn this week through injury – Australians Joel Parkinson and Troy Brooks, and Brazilian Bernardo Pigmeu. Brazilian Guilherme Herdy is a seed replacement in the main event, so the injuries opened the door for two more wildcards to take on the world’s best.
Reunion Island’s Jeremy Flores was offered a wildcard after he won the ASP European Junior Championship title on the weekend. It was then decided that the other spare wildcard would go to the second place getter at the Quiksilver Trials, as well as the winner. So Quinn gets a start, as well as Beven.
Patrick Beven said he was feeling pretty good that he had won the Quiksilver Trials to win a wildcard into the main event.
“It’s good having this Quiksilver WCT at my home – I have a lot of friends here,” Beven said. “It’s a special contest for me as these are the best waves on the coast, so I’m pretty happy.”
As for coming up against top seeds in the main event, Beven said he was happy to do that: “I’m motivated when I surf against them. I don’t care who’s surfing – I just want to make it.”
Quinn, 29, who was a WCT Top 45 competitor in 2002, also had a big smile on his face after the Quiksilver Trials today.
“It looks like I’ll be staying a bit longer as I was planning to leave on Monday. I’m so stoked. I’ve been looking forward to a WCT for so long and especially this event because I did well here, placing ninth, when I was on the tour, so I couldn’t be happier,” Quinn, who recently won a three-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event in Spain, said.
Reunion Island’s Jeremy Flores, 17, fresh from his major win in the ASP European Junior Championship on the weekend, said he was feeling great. “I’ll try to win. I think I’ve drawn three-time world champion Andy Irons and American Taylor Knox in the first round, so if I win this it will be better than anything,” said Flores, who spends half his time in France and the other half based at Australia’s Newport Beach, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
France’s Miky Picon, 26, of Capbreton, was also at the Quiksilver Trials today observing the competition. Picon, who at eighth position is currently the highest ranked European on the WQS, said he was going to use his wildcard to gain some experience as he needs another good placing to cement a spot on next year’s WCT.
“It’ll help to give me some confidence to see the world’s best surfers before I go back on the WQS as I need one more result,” Picon said.
“I’m definitely stoked to get a start in the Quiksilver Pro France and I hope we get good swell and wind. The bank at La Graviere (the main contest podium) is absolutely perfect. I’ve surfed here since the sandbank formed 10 months ago.”
Jeremy Flores agreed: “It’s a good bank. There’s a big possibility to have great surf like the past few years of the Quiksilver Pro France. It’ll be barreling.”
The other main podium has been set up at nearby La Nord, a big-wave spot which last year delivered perfect three to four metre (eight to 12 foot) surf for the final day of the event. And if the swell gets huge, event organizers can move further south to Lafitenia, near the town of St Jean de Luz.
The $US270,000 Quiksilver Pro France, the ninth event on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, has a competition window from Friday 23 September to Sunday 2 October, 2005, and is a critical event in the world title race.
With four wins from eight events 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 – 6,528 points). 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.
It’s going to be a battle royale. Tune into the live webcast of the Quiksilver Pro France at www.quiksilver.com and www.aspworldtour.com The broadcast will be in four languages – English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.