CAPBRETON, France (Sunday, October 12, 2008) - Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF) and Marlon Lipke (DEU) got a step closer to qualifying for the 2009 ASP World Tour today adding a valuable result to their ASP World Qualifying Series points' total after placing respectively equal 3rd and equal 5th in the Rio Surf Pro International pres. by Oakley.
Bourez was defeated in the Semifinals by experienced competitor and former ASP World Tour member Greg Emslie (ZAF) in a wave-starved heat where he was not able to score more than an usually low 9.83 point heat tally (out of a possible 20).
Bourez, who had a tough time last August in Europe making it through one heat only in three events, has been on an exceptional roll since the month of September and repeated his excellent performance once again in Brazil today with his semifinal berth.
"It is a big result for me and these points will put me in a better position for the ratings' race," Bourez said. "I still wanted more because I know I had the opportunity to make the final but I just didn't find the best waves."
Bourez, who jumps from No. 14 to No. 8 on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings thanks to the 1825 points' reward for his run in Brazil, will land in the Canarian archipelago for the upcoming ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Santa Surf Pro on the island of Lanzarote with great confidence.
"I am out of the "danger zone" and flying out to the Canary Islands with a more confidence," Bourez said. "I hope I can get a couple more good results and secure more points for my ASP World Tour qualification."
In four events, including the Quiksilver Pro France where he accomplished one of the best performances of his career defeating ASP World Tour No. 3 and 4 Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Joel Parkinson (AUS), Bourez has placed 2nd in the ASP WQS 5-Star Movistar Pantin Classic and 3rd in the ASP WQS 5-Star Rip Curl Pro Zarautz, now adding an equal 3rd to his quest.
The Tahitian charger, former 2006 ASP European Champion, finished best European in the event, one spot ahead from German ripper and now rated WQS No. 6 Marlon Lipke (DEU).
Lipke, who has gone from No. 9 to No. 6 thanks to a Quarterfinal finish in Brazil, was the second best European in the event and achieved an excellent performance again getting back on track for a possible 2009 ASP World Tour qualification.
Lipke now sits on a solid 10950 points' total and is close to the virtual 11000 point-mark that should secure him a spot among next year's ASP Top 45. The German surfer, if he qualifies, will become the first ever representative of his nation to ever reach the world's elite tour.
Both Bourez and Lipke will surf in Lanzarote next week and have the opporunity of securing their qualification with all the points to clinch in the Prime rated event.
TOP EUROPEANS' CURRENT ASP WQS RATINGS
No. 3, Tim Boal (FRA), 11888 points
No. 6, Marlon Lipke (DEU), 10950 points
No. 8, Michel Bourez (PYF), 10600 points
No. 17, Tiago Pires (PRT), 9663 points
No. 37, Joan Duru (FRA), 8669 points