Surf Europe reporting live from the Quik Pro. We are down on the beach at La Graviere, and the contest is on hold, again, with another call for the quarterfinals at 5pm. There’s been more holds at this event than at a WWF bout, but contest director Miky Picon is trying to pick the eyes out of a pretty horrible swell window. Yesterday he called it off on the high tide, sent the groms out for the King Of The Groms, and watched as the little pricks scored tens and nines in six foot offshore waves. I swear every pubeless tube must have been a dagger to his heart.
Anyway back this morning they ran round 4 and round 5, with some barrels early, before south winds and a low tide made it borderline contestable. In the cross shore dross the big news was that world title contenders Mick, Kelly and Parko are through to the quarters, while title hopefuls Jordy Smith and Taj Burrow were eliminated. Taj was done in a series of close-outs (“That was a heat of straight handers, but I’ll take it," said Mick) and Jordy by the lime green spinning machine that is Felipe Toledo.
Anyway with the World Title race down to three, Surf Europe talked to all three contenders post heat and this is what they said.
Surf Europe: I remember you used to have these French fans, girls that wrote Kelly all over there bodies and made big signs, and yet the don’t seem to be here this year? Is that a sign of your waning popularity?
Kelly Slater: Well no, the girls, and Chloe especially who was the ringleader, has gone to college in Paris. I have actually been in contact with them over the years and and my and my girl even tried to have a lunch with her in Paris, but it didn’t work out. So that’s why there aren’t here.
Surf Europe: Uhm, okay. Now you have been the best for 20 years, the question is this; Is it lonely at the top?
Kelly Slater: (Kinda smiling, kinda shrugging, kinda angry) Well you know what, right now you are better off asking Mick, or Joel that.
Surf Europe: Uhm, yes we will, thanks for your time
Surf Europe: Tell us your hopes and dreams Joel.
Parko: I want to win the event and be back in world title contention. That’s about it.
Surf Europe: You’ve been coming to France now for a good decade, like most Aussies here, your French must be amazing.
Parko: Well I have one strategy when it comes to traveling and learning the local language. I have one phrase I know in about seven languages. It’s simply "another one", so in French, " une autre." So that works for another beer, another piece bread.
Surf Europe: And another world title?
Parko: That’ll do.
Surf Europe: Yesterday you won with an alley oop, are you the new John John or Felipe Felipe?
Mick: Yeah, you know I have been burying my swiss ball in the sand, using it like a trampoline and have been learning all the grabs. So yeah, it’s come full circle.
Surf Europe: But in all seriousness, it won you the heat, which could win you the world title.
Mick: Well it didn’t barrel and I thought if I do a floater I’ll get a three, so I went for it. Then I was in the air, and then back around, and I was like, 'hang on, I’ve made it.' But I don’t care how I do it. I squeaked through that one and squeaked through about 5 doggy doors against Taj today, so I’m still in it to win it.
And John John next?
Surf Europe: Bring it on, you’ve seen my airs.