Julian Wilson (Probably) Won't Win The 2017 World Title
Who buys Mick Fanning jerseys? And other notes from opening day of the Quiksilver Pro France.
Fall in France is romantic.
What I mean by that is the beaches are flecked with naked women and it makes you want to administer your seed around the world a la Ghengis Kahn. Your brain, however, misinterprets that burning primal urge as “romance.” Oh, the wine is pretty good too.
So after five straight days of getting laid, the 2017 Quiksilver Pro France finally started today. I was there. On the beach, in the flesh, just to report on it for you.
As is French tradition, the ocean was a little grumpy this morning. Solid swell, offshore winds and a tide that’s just about to roll high usually means many barrels at La Graviere. But not this morning — it was all chunky and full of warbles.
Stu Kennedy won the first heat of the event, Nat Young won the second and then Adam Melling appeared and almost won the third but couldn’t seal the deal on account that Adam Melling fell off tour last year. So Wilko won the third heat and stayed planted in the Title race.
Then, the waves got better. Cue highlights:
Ethan Ewing vs Caio Ibelli vs Julian Wilson
I ran into Ethan’s coach, Stace Galbraith, at a bar the other night. He had a soda while I drank tall glasses of beer at a pace not typically found outside of dog tracks. Stace explained he and Ethan had agreed to stay away from beers until more heats have been won.
John John Florence vs Italo Ferreira vs Keanu Asing
Hell of a heat right here. Italo landed one of the better airs of the year — a backside full roter — early on. John struck back with a big straight air into a bunch of turns; Keanu caught a few waves, then asked everyone if they remember when he won the contest last year. When the final horn sounded, John ended up in first place thanks to a score that seemed just a touch, um, juicy.
Jordy Smith vs Marc Lacomare vs Kanoa Igarashi
Jordy looked on today. His surfing looked great, his board looked great — a fair and honest use of a grip — and he didn’t do that typs Jords thing where he makes a heinous mistake that costs him a heat he should’ve easily won. He wants that Title.
Joan Duru vs Filipe Toledo vs Miguel Pupo
Within the first five minutes of the heat, Joan had combo'd Filipe and Miguel with the highest heat total of the day. That is all.
Gabriel Medina vs Jeremy Flores vs Leonardo Fioravanti
Remember on the Goldy this year, when the almighty panel would shower goofy footers with lavish scores just for staying in and/or around the pocket? Yeah, that was kind of happening again today. I take my role as a judge of the judges very seriously and I thought Jeremy won this heat.
Ian Gouveia vs Mick Fanning vs Frederico Morais
When the WSL started selling jerseys, I thought, Who the fuck would buy those? But there were a ton of them down there today, and a noticeably larger number of Mick Fanning’s around. I decided to ask a random person about why they bought it. They didn’t speak English nor understand my neolithic French and became very confused, sad and embarrassed. So, that’s who the fuck buys those jerseys. Mick lost to Ian Gouveia.
Marc Lacomare vs Julian Wilson
The tide was low and the waves almost looked like a poor and/or Frenchman’s Sunset Beach. Wildcard Marc Lacomare is not poor, but he is French and so it was his Sunset Beach and he made a serious adjustment to Julian’s plan to win the World Title.
Freddy Morais vs Jack Freestone
Freddy put on what was probably the best display of good surfing we saw all day. That is a very literal statement. As per the WSL scale, “good” surfing is rewarded with a score in between 6 - 8 points. Fred had six waves in that range this heat! Six! Impressive, no?
Round one results:
Heat 1: Stuart Kennedy 12.00, Adriano de Souza 10.77, Conner Coffin 6.33
Heat 2: Nat Young 11.00, Bede Durbidge 9.17, Owen Wright 7.20
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson 13.77, Wiggolly Dantas 12.50, Josh Kerr 10.76
Heat 4: Ethan Ewing 15.57, Caio Ibelli 15.33, Julian Wilson 9.13
Heat 5: John John Florence 15.67, Italo Ferreira 15.60, Keanu Asing 5.10
Heat 6: Jordy Smith 16.10, Marc Lacomare 12.70, Kanoa Igarashi 10.47
Heat 7: Joan Duru 18.00, Filipe Toledo 11.43, Miguel Pupo 9.14
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina 15.86, Jeremy Flores 15.27, Leonardo Fioravanti 13.26
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson 13.20, Jack Freestone 11.96, Michel Bourez 11.40
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz 12.74, Jadson Andre 10.74, Connor O'Leary 10.57
Heat 11: Ian Gouveia 15.57, Mick Fanning 15.27, Frederico Morais 12.16
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan 15.60, Kolohe Andino 10.63, Ezekiel Lau 10.60
Heat 1: Marc Lacomare 13.27 def. Julian Wilson 12.23
Heat 2: Owen Wright 13.60 def. Keanu Asing 11.17
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza 15.97 def. Josh Kerr 13.00
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo 12.27 def. Filipe Toledo 8.50
Heat 5: Leonardo Fioravanti 14.60 def. Connor O'Leary 11.87
Heat 6: Frederico Morais 15.26 def. Jack Freestone 11.37
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino 13.50 def. Jadson Andre 12.60
Heat 8: Mick Fanning 13.20 def. Ezekiel Lau 12.84
Remaining round two match-ups:
Heat 9: Michel Bourez vs. Kanoa Igarashi
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores vs. Italo Ferreira
Heat 11: Conner Coffin vs.Caio Ibelli
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge vs. Wiggolly Dantas