AN event of shocks, upsets, changing of the guard and controversial judging decisions. Forget the turning tide, it was more a stormforce shift in the wind as a rookie gale blew through the bleachers at the Quiksilver Pro France. Onshore is the new offshore and a 19.57 including a perfect 10 against Knox in the first semi, a shotgun to the face of linking power turns when the wind is running against you.
The final of the Quik Pro France, contested by a duo of newbies, Julian Wilson, on the tour from Snapper and Gabriel Medina from the September cut. Someone would win a tour stop for the first time. Medina Airlines the Brazza upstart against J-Dub the millionaire poster boy. Airlines probably couldn't have asked for more conducive conditions with the wind blowing across the lefts, and after Julian declined to force an interference Gaby stuck the knife in, twisted and pinned the event win to the door.
Last year France finished in do-or-die barrels, the year before, 2ft mush, and this year overhead cross-shore ramps. France is fickle and Mickey Picon probably has a few more grey hairs after trying to put this on/off event in the best conditions over the window, analysing each and every swell pulse hoping that the tide and sand will conspire correctly and a huge blanket of pea souper fog will not sweep in and deprive you of a carefully selected window.
© Marie-Claire Ferrer