Mick Fanning takes Quik Pro France

Mick Fanning has just claimed his second consecutive ASP Dream Tour event, taking out the 2009 Quiksilver Pro France over fellow Finalist Bede Durbidge in punchy one-to-three foot waves at Les Bourdaines.

Mick Fanning at Pro France.  Copyright: ASP/ CI/ CESTARI via GETTY IMAGESFanning continued to build momentum through the final day of competition before erupting in the Final with a flurry of excellent scoring rides, a 7.83, an 8.83 and a 7.33 in the opening half of the competition.

“I was really fortunate to get those couple of good ones at the start because I really ran out of gas there at the end,” Fanning said. “It’s two back-to-back events where I have had to surf four heats on the final day to get the win and it takes a lot out of you. The conditions were deteriorating and I was fortunate to get those scores on the board early on.”

Today’s victory marks the second in a row for Mick Fanning, having proven victorious in Southern California last week. The win further cements Fanning in second position on the 2009 ASP World Tour ratings, cutting the distance between himself and frontrunner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, from 936 points (pre-France) to a scant 146 points heading into Spain.

“It’s back on,” Fanning said. “Everyone though Joel (Parkinson) was going to run away with it and it’s unfortunate for him that he fell out early, but I’ve put in a lot of work to get these last two wins and I’m just psyched on heading into the rest of the season.”

Durbidge was in excellent form throughout the final day of competition, eliminating a rampaging Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, compatriot Ben Dunn (AUS), 23, and lethal local Patrick Beven (FRA), 31, en route to the Final. Although surfing well, the big Australian couldn’t overcome Fanning’s speed in the trying conditions.

"I felt good and fit as but I was trying to push my turns too hard on a couple of waves and I was caught in the bump a lot so I guess that's the difference from the other heats today,” Durbidge said. “The conditions were a bit bumpier and I couldn't get any clean sections out there. It feels good to be in the Final though, it's the best I’ve done this year and coming from a 3rd at Trestles, it is petty good."

Tiago Pires (PRT), 29, ASP Dream Tour sophomore, halted what many considered to be the juggernaut of the event when he eliminated reigning nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 37, in the Quarterfinals of the Quiksilver Pro France.

“I’m over the moon right now,” Pires said. “Kelly (Slater) is my favorite surfer and I have so much respect for him. I knew I had to wait for the bigger waves to get the scores to beat him. I’ve had a really tough year, but have been training very hard for this and I’m so happy to get through.”

While the Floridian opened up with some fluid-yet-explosive surfing on his backhand to amass a daunting 17.43 out of a possible 20 heat total, it was Pires who would answer back with a 9.57 followed by a 8.13 to take the heat.

“After I put up that first big score, I was still needing another really big one so I knew I had to wait,” Pires said. “Kelly (Slater) likes to stay busy and he keeps getting scores all the time, but I still had to wait for a good one. I had been watching all day and I knew there would be sets so when it came, I just put everything I had into it.

Although Pires would eventually go down to Fanning in the Semifinals, his Equal 3rd place finish sees him bolt from 33rd to 23rd on the ASP World Tour ratings.

put on a show using smart heat tactics and razor-sharp backhand turns to prove a standout in the Les Bourdaines beach beaks.

The hunt for the 2009 ASP World Title has become even more interesting with the early elimination of frontrunner Parkinson and the win from Fanning. They’ll battle other top seeds C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, Durbidge and Slater as the ASP Dream Tour continues the European leg.

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