After an amazing display of surfing and waves at Lower Trestles, the ASP World Tour finds itself in the south of France for event No. 7 of 10 for the Quiksilver Pro. Kelly Slater, who once again put the rest of the tour on notice that the king of surfing is alive and well with his dominating win at Lowers, slipped up in his first round heat, totaling a mere four points for his two-wave average for the heat. Yes, I did say four points, in a first round that saw challenging, big and closed-out waves for most of the competitors.
Some winners of the first round included San Clemente's Pat Gudauskas, Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson and Florida's C.J. Hobgood, along with No. 2- and 3-ranked surfers Jordy Smith and Taj Burrow.
Three heats have so far been held in round two, with Slater leading the way, winning his heat along with wild-card entry Julian Wilson, with a major upset over Hurley Pro finalist Bede Durbidge, and Gabe Kling, with another major upset win over No. 5-ranked surfer Adriano de Souza.
Wednesday was another lay day for the event, with the swell expected to come up in the next couple of days. Stay tuned or catch it live by going to ASPWorldTour.com.
In other news, congratulations to Mary Osborne, who became the first woman ever to surf "The Silver Dragon," otherwise known as the Qiantang tidal bore. It is the largest in the world and has been causing a sensation since the days of the Tang Dynasty. The noise of its turbulent waters is said to be like the hooves of a thousand horses that can be heard from miles away. Osborne says it was an amazing feeling to experience such a natural phenomenon. It was incredible to witness an actual wave that broke for miles on end, and to be the first woman to surf it is an honor.
The Qiantang tidal bore event took place Sept. 23 to 25. Osborne was joined by fellow surfers Mikala Jones, Jamie Sterling and "Endless Summer" co-star Robert Weaver, otherwise known as "Wingnut."
JAMES PRIBRAM is a professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior Surf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com.