Jeremy Flores (FRA) lost to Kelly Slater (USA) in Semifinal #2 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG today, in consistent three foot (1 meter) waves at Snapper Rocks.
Flores, who kept the Quiksilver Pro French webcast audience up all night in France, equaled his best ASP World Tour result (in Trestles last year) finishing with an equal 3rd place and valuable US$ 12 000 of prizemoney behind 8X ASP World Champion and 2008 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner Slater.
Flores’ consistency had him leading the heat until Slater scored his two counting waves in the last ten minutes, leaving Jeremy short of 7.81 points to catch-up despite an honorable 15.17 pts heat tally (out of possible 20).
“Kelly surfed better than I did so I cannot be angry, but I should have opened my surf more,” Flores said. “To finish with a 3rd is a great relieve before the next event and to lose to Kelly is not that disappointing for me.”
“My trainer is already waiting for me so I will relax after that and why not have a little party with the other Europeans tonight,” Flores said. “I am stoked and happy with this start”.
Flores, who bests his 2007 finish on the Gold Coast (equal 9th), starts his 2008 ASP World Tour campaign better than he expected.
“I hope I will not have to run as much Word Qualifying Series (WQS) events as last year,” Flores said. “I am aiming at securing several good results in the first events of the year, spend more time home, travel less and focus on the ASP World Tour contests if I can.”
Best European of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast by far, the 19-year-old Reunion Island born surfer had to defeat New South Wales competitor Adrian Buchan (AUS) in Quarterfinal #3 and Tim Reyes (USA) earlier in the day in Round 4 on his way to meet Slater, respectively posting solid 15.94 and 15.34 heat totals to reach semifinals.
The other three ASP World Tour Europeans all started their 2008 campaign in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG, with different fates.
2008 ASP World Tour rookie Aritz Aranburu (EUK) had to pull out of the event after Round 1, due to a broken meniscus and over-extended knee ligaments that will keep him out of water for 6 weeks. Miky Picon (FRA), who bested Andy Irons (HAW) in Round 1 before losing to highscorer of the event Taj Burrow in Round 3, got an equal 17th place finish. Tiago Pires (PRT), first Portuguese surfer ever to join the Top 45, lost in Round 2 against Leonardo Neves (BRA).
Europe’s four representatives will now move to Stop #2 on the 2008 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach, Victoria, Australia.
Get all the action from the Europeans of the 2008 ASP World Tour on www.aspeurope.com!