The world’s elite U16 surfers have had the honour of closing the 7th edition of the Quiksilver Pro France 2008. For the first time, the sole French stage of the ASP World Tour hosted the world final of the King of the Groms. Following a worldwide qualifying tour, sixteen surfers aged 16 and under came together in the Landes region of south-west France to compete for the much sought-after title of King of the Groms. The Reunionese Maxime Huscenot, dominant throughout the series, showed formidable cool-headedness in this extremely tight final, which he won in the dying seconds. Neck and neck with Kolohe Andino (USA), the French surfer won by the finest of margins, by 17.17 points to the American’s 17.16. “It was a great final, not easy to win, the level was very high” explained Maxime after his series. In addition to the title, the surfer from Reunion will also have the privilege of competing in the trials for two legs of next season’s ASP World Tour: the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2009 and the Quiksilver Pro France 2009. He will have the immense privilege of rubbing shoulders with the world’s very best surfers. Eight-times World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater and 2007 Rookie of the Year Jérémy Florès, warmly congratulated the winner and all of the competitors, whose progress they followed with interest. “Amongst you, are no doubt those who will succeed us in the future…” declared the most successful surfer of all time, with a knowing smile.
Winner of a stage of the Pro Junior ASP tour (Santa Pro Junior – Spain) last June, and victorious at the unofficial World Championships in his age category, Maxime is certainly blazing an incredible trail this year.
Watched by prestigious older surfers like Miky Picon, Jérémy Florès or Dany Wills, all previous winners of this top junior surfing contest and now members of the world’s elite club, the King of the Groms finalists enjoyed excellent conditions at the Spot des Estagnots in Seignosse, and the same infrastructure as the pros (judges, live webcast). Thanks to perfect and consistent waves, the Landes beach break proved a formidable hunting ground for the next generation of international surfers.
The other French contender, Dimitri Ouvré, who qualified at the European final in Capbreton last August, was not as successful as Maxime Huscenot, being knocked out in the second round of the competition.
This 2008 edition of the Quiksilver King of the Groms therefore ends on a triumphant note for one young Frenchman, Maxime Huscenot, a worthy successor to Jérémy Florès and the Euroforce.
Quiksilver King of the Groms Final 2008 – Results
1/ Maxime Huscenot (Fra)
2/ Kolohe Andino (USA)
3/ Matt Banting (Aus)
4/ Alex Dive (Nz)