A word in your ear with 2007 WCT Rookie sensation Jeremy Flores.

Interview by Daz

Three events in and Jeremy has got off to a solid start in the big leagues, winning each of his Round One heats, getting robbed from making the Quarters at Snapper, taking out one R. Kelly Slater at Teahupoo for a Quarters finish and after three of ten events on the 2007 Foster’s ASP World Tour, finds himself ranked 9th in the world.

So far, three events in, how do you feel it’s gone?

For the moment I’m happy with my performance, I’ve won all of my first round heats, which has helped to give me confidence. I was pretty unlucky at Bells where I fell ill after my first round heat and had to stay in bed until day 3. I still wasn’t feeling great when I surfed that heat. And then at Teahupoo I was pretty stoked to make the Quarters.

How rattled were you by what happened at Snapper?

When I got out of the water, I felt like I had been cheated, that the barrel I got was worth more than a 3.5 (plus all I needed was a 5.33 to go through to the quarters), but seeing as it was my first WCT event, I didn’t want to kick up a fuss. When I went back into the pro surfer’s area, everyone, including Kelly, said that the judges had made a mistake and that I should go and talk to Perry Hatchett (ASP head judge). So that’s what I did, but Perry assured me that he had seen the wave… That kind of situation is pretty rare on tour and it was just my bad luck that it had to happen to me, but it’s all part of my apprenticeship on the ’CT! I’ve just tried to forget it and concentrate on the events to come.

Last week you took down Kelly at Teahupoo. Must have felt pretty good?

Yeah it’s always nice to beat one of the top guys like Kelly, great for your self-confidence. I had a close heat with him in the Quik Pro France a couple of years ago, so it was nice to beat him. I was stoked to make the Quarters but still a bit disappointed I didn’t go on a bit further in that event.

What’s been your routine, who you travelling with?

My dad was with me for the two events in Australia. My fitness coach Yannick Beven (Patrick’s brother) was also with me for the Gold Coast, as well as quite a few friends, which helped a lot. You do feel a lot of pressure being the only European on the tour so let’s hope Miky re-qualifies and that Tiago and Patrick make it on too!

You must be keeping an eye on the QS. Have you been surprised by the strong start the Euros have made?

No, not really. Guys like Tiago and Patrick have already come close to qualifying in the past. It looks like Euroforce is on the rampage!

Who seem like the in-form CT guys?

No real big surprises. Kelly is still up there, Andy, who wasn’t in great shape for the Gold Coast was great to watch at Bells, he was right back in the zone surfing incredible. And then there’s the Australians Fanning, Parko and Taj. Those are the five that are a cut above the rest.

What changes have you tried to make to your surfing to score bigger?

I’ve only just turned 19 and I’m still quite small, so I’m working on my fitness and gaining more power in my legs.

There are still plenty of events to go, but do you have an idea of where you want to be? Is staying in the Top 10 a realistic goal?

My top priority is to re-qualify, which is why I’ll continue to compete in the big WQS events until I’m sure I’ve re-qualified through the ‘CT. But ideally I’d like to post one or two big results before the year’s end. Let’s wait and see.