We're now three weeks away from the start to the European Dream Tour leg and the Quiksilver Pro France but obviously still too far away for to look at any kind of swell forecast or what exactly lies at stake regarding the title race with the Hurley Pro at Trestles still to go.
However, after one of the quietest North Atlantic summers for swell in recent memory and on-coming 7-day flat spell it's probably safe to say that Hossegor's sandbanks will stand as they are now, already giving us an idea of what this year's Quik Pro France might look like this year as far as event sites go. Of course, the swell will end up being the determining factor as to where the contest runs but nevertheless here's a quick run down of this year's potential Quikky Pro lineups.
The Quikky Pro's go-to event site, the Gravière.
It's been a good couple of months since Hossegor's La Gravière has shown any sign of life. According to locals, the sandbank there is looking pretty underwhemling with a couple of deep troughs a few metres off the beach. A few waves came through at mid-tide last week during the first run of decent long-interval groundswell since the beginning of the summer but at present it's a long way off being anywhere close to its former glorious days.
La Nord, always an option
Remember 2004? La Nord at 10-12 foot, offshore winds, with giant left and right-hand barrels... for some it remains the best edition of the Quik Pro France.
Right now the sandbank is in good shape as it always is in one form or other, and although we've had few opportunities to see it in action lately a quiet summer of waves should have helped to sculpt the sandbank further. If a big enough swell shows up within the waiting period then it's more than likely to turn on but we'll have to wait and see whether the ASP opt to erect an extra judging tower there for the occasion.
For most round these parts Bourdaines is where it's been at throughout the summer, especially on the high tide. It's where they decided to run the women's Swatch Pro on a terrible forecast and while it was completely flat elsewhere organisers managed to get the job done. If the forecast is small then Bourdaines is always an option but the bank isn't as good as it was and with it only really working at high tide now, such a short window is unlikely to suit.
The left at Les Estagnots
One of the Quik Pro France's biggest attractions is that the contest is mobile and able to relocate between Capbreton, Hossegor and Seignosse. For those who've kept a beady eye on the latest sand movements both south and north of Capbreton harbour, one sandbank in particular has attracted all the talk of town. A long left just to the south of Estagnots. A typical Les Landes set up with a lot of rip, a peak far out the back with several bowly sections on the inside. There's a couple potential barrel sections but from watching the local pros go to town on it the wave most lends itself to aerials. All in all, the set up is more likely to favour the younger guys on tour. Yes, definitely more Medina than Slater.