Late last year Miky was standing in the SE office before flying out to Hawaii sweating. He’d already been emailed by ASP stato Al Hunt to tell him he’d passed the magic 9000 points mark and was in, it looked sure that Miky had become the first of Quik’s Euro dream team to make the WCT. But then a few rival WQS surfers obviously hadn’t read the script, and were threatening to overtake him in the ratings. A few weeks later though, on finals day at Sunset Miky finally had what he’d been waiting for, and the 26-year-old from Capbreton had secured his place amongst the sport’s elite on the 2006 Foster’s ASP World Championship Tour. We caught up with Miky on a winter break in Tenerife early in the New Year.

SE: At what point last year did you first think you had a really good chance of getting in?

MP: After I got 3rd place in the six star at Huntington in July... I knew then that I was in with a really decent chance coming into the European leg.

What happened with you getting told you’d qualified at first, but then having to wait and see what happened in Hawaii?

I knew before Hawaii that I had a good chance even if I did badly… I was focused on getting one good result in one of the two contests. But it didn’t come and I had to sit and watch my fate unfold. At Sunset there were five guys who could potentially overtake me in the ratings but they needed big results - semis or better. After the semis they’d all lost, so then I knew for sure I’d finally made it.

Have you been surprised by the amount of non-surfing media interest in your qualifying?

Really surprised. I was in Hawaii with my parents having a little break with them afterwards, and then the loss of Malik put my qualification out of my mind, I was really down, not even free surfing. It wasn’t until I got back to France that I saw Quiksilver had done some big billboard ads at the airport and at the Capbreton highway exit. There have been quite a lot of TV stations asking for interviews too, weekly news mags. I’ve been really surprised how much surfing has become mainstream news here.

No European surfer has ever secured requalification through the WCT. What are you going to try and do differently?

I’m gonna go 150 percent on the CT, not even think about the QS. I’ve waited so long to be on that tour I want to put everything into that. At the halfway mark I might to some QS events - not to try to requalify through it but just to get a good seed for the next year, but hopefully I won’t need it.

What would you say your strengths are? Weaknesses?

I’m more motivated when it’s barrelling. Experience could be a weakness I guess, being a novice on the WCT. But I’ll be training with Yannick Beven and working on mental preparation too. Belly’s gonna be there with me at some events, so I’ve got good support in that respect. Big thanks to Quiksilver for all they’ve done for me, I can’t wait.