CAPBRETON, France (Tuesday, July 28, 2009) – Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23, hit once again with his powerful and fantastic surfing in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, the ASP Dream Tour rookie and current World No. 25 reaching the Quarterfinals of the coveted event that saw Californian Brett Simpson (USA) clinch the US$ 100,000 winner’s prize, the biggest in ASP history.
Bourez, who was in excellent form throughout the event that saw thousands of people make their way down to Huntignton Beach, managed to get a second consecutive good result after his equal 9th place finish in the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, the fifth stop of this year’s ASP World Tour. Defeating fellow ASP Top 45 members Jay Thompson (AUS), Roy Powers (HAW) and former ASP World Tour No. 2 Rob Machado (California, USA) en route to the Quarterfinals, Bourez was at ease in the solid six-to-eight foot waves on offer in the final days of competition.
Failing to advance against former ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Gold Coast, AUS), 28, in the Quarterfinals of the event, Bourez still secured a promising run that should give him confidence towards his ASP World Tour requalifying quest that will resume at Trestles for the Hurley Pro in September.
Signing a spectacular comeback was fellow Tahitian Alain Riou (Tahiti, PYF), 27, Riou finding his way through to Round 5 of the prestigious event, his second best result this year after his excellent run at the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Quiksilver Pro Durban last April.
Riou, who has been touring on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) for five years without reaching his goal of qualifying for the ASP World Tour, seems to have found a new boost and it showed at Huntington Beach where the Tahitian was able to best several favorites including local wunderkind Nat Young (USA) and former ASP World Tour member Cory Lopez (Florida, USA) before losing to defending champion and current ASP Top 45 surfer Nathaniel Curran (Californian, USA).
Equaling Riou’s performance was current ASP World Tour European representative Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK), 23, the Basque surfer placing equal 9th in the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing after losing to fellow ASP Dream Tour surfer Adriano De Souza (BRA).
Aranburu, whose recent and exceptional run at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in May confirmed he was able to best the world’s top competitive surfers, got a significant confidence boost in California, ousting current ASP WQS Top 15 member Dusty Payne (HAW) and former ASP Top 45 surfer Nathan Hedge (AUS) en route to Round 5.
Bourez, Riou and Aranburu were the best Europeans in the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing, an event that will go down in surfing history with the biggest prize purse ever and some of the best conditions ever witnessed at Huntington Beach.
ASP WQS Europeans’ Current Best 5 Surfers
No. 11, Joan Duru (FRA), 10188 pts
No. 20, Glenn Hall (FRA), 8825 pts
No. 21, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 8725 pts
No. 24, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), 8601 pts
No. 32, Romain Cloitre (REU), 8026 pts