SEIGNOSSE, France (Sunday, September 21, 2008) - Current ASP World Tour No. 10 Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA) led the European charge today, confidently getting through to Round 3 after defeating ASP Top 45 rookie Daniel Ross (AUS) early in the morning. Flores, who posted a solid 15.17 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to advance, was in good form finding a couple of barrels during his heat, leaving the water relieved.
"I woke up late and got here five minutes before my heat but I felt good because I did not have time to feel any pressure," Flores said. "I feel I have improved a lot, I have good boards but the ocean has a big role as well and if waves don't come there is not much you can do about it."
Flores was cheered by hundreds of fans getting up early to watch the best French surfer ever in action.
"It is great to have all this support from so many people on the beach," Flores said. "I haven't got through many heats in the past in France so when it happens people are definitely pushing and it is a pleasure. All this support makes me want to win even more and that is why when I lose I am even more frustrated."
From the four European surfers paddling out today, two only were able to secure their Round 3 berth, Tiago Pires (PRT) joining Flores, Duru and Bourez.
Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT), 27, rated No. 30 on the ASP World Tour coming to France, was in good form in the clean three foot (one meter) waves and ended up winning Heat 14 with an overall heat total of 15.50 points (out of a possible 20) ahead of Timmy Reyes's (California, USA) 14.84 points.
"I am stoked to get through that heat after having several close heats during the year," Pires said. "I put all my energy in that last wave and tried as hard as I could and it paid off."
Pires will surf against Adrian Buchan (AUS) when in Heat 12 of Round 3 when competition resumes.
Fellow Europeans Miky Picon (Capbreton, FRA) and Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK) were both eliminated in Round 2 today and finish their French campaign with a last place, an equal 33rd.
Aritz Aranburu (EUK), ASP World Tour No. 45, was eliminated by current world No. 5 Adriano De Souza (BRA) despite some good surfing and tactics. Aranburu, who started the heat with a good barrel, tried to put pressure on De Souza right at the start of the heat but was not able to keep the lead.
"I wanted to start fast and get some good waves," Aranburu said. "I was feeling good but I did not get the scors I needed so I am pretty disappointed."
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE Round 3 Europeans' Upcoming Heats
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) Vs Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) Vs Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) Vs Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) Vs Michel Bourez (PYF)