Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23, current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) No. 14 and wildcard in the Quiksilver Pro France, came up with some impressive sufing today defeating current ASP World Tour No. 3 Bede Durbidge (Gold Coast, AUS) with the highest heat result of the event so far, a 19.57 point tally (out of a possible 20).
Bourez, who eliminated other ASP World title contender Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, AUS) in Round 2, was unstoppable during the 30-minute encounter and posted a 9.80 and a 9.77 to end Durbidge’s world title dream, confirming his “giant-killer” status.
“I paddled out with no pressure at all and just wanted to enjoy the solid waves,” Bourez said. “I used the strong currents knowing Bede (Durbidge) could get caught in there so I could choose the better waves and it worked out well. I was able to get a couple of excellent waves and get through.”
Bourez, a former ASP European Champion and currently en route to qualify for next year’s ASP World Tour, will meet ASP World Tour No. 19 Kieren Perrow (AUS), when Round 4 resumes tomorrow with a chance of surfing at the world class venue of La Graviere in Hossegor if the swell remains in the solid six to eight foot (2 to 2.5 meter) range.
“I am focused on the WQS and I hope I can qualify this year,” Bourez said. “I feel like I can surf well and get some scores against the best surfers but I have to improve a lot still. I don’t really pay attention to the fact I defeated two world title contenders, I am having fun and I hope I can keep going.”
The Tahitian charger was the only one of four Europeans to advance through to Round 4 today, fellow regional competitors Joan Duru (Hossegor, FRA) and Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA) and Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) all losing in Round 3.
Flores, who was rated No. 10 on the ASP World Tour coming to Hossegor after his excellent equal 3rd place in California, was not able to best Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) ending his French run with an equal 17th.
Joan Duru, 19, who was awarded a wildcard in the Quiksilver Pro France, lost as well to current ratings’ leader and 8X ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) in Heat 8 of Round 3. Duru, a former ASP European Junior champion currently rated No. 30 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) had relegated Slater to Round 2 after besting him in Round 1 but failed to defeat the best surfer ever.
Tiago Pires, 27, a rookie on this year’s ASP World Tour, was eliminated as well in Round 3 losing to current ratings’ No. 14 Adrian Buchan (AUS). Pires, who got through Round 2 in good form, was not able to find good enough waves and ended up with an unusual low 8.17 point heat score (out of a possible 20). The best Portuguese surfer ever, who was rated No. 30 coming to Hossegor, will be chasing several good results in the upcoming events.
From the seven European surfers who got their start in the Quiksilver Pro France, Bourez is the only one remaining and will be the most dangerous outsider when competition resumes.