Jordy Smith takes 3rd place in Quiksilver Pro France

South Africa’s Jordy Smith, competing in his first ASP World Tour event since suffering a rib injury in Tahiti in August, was placed third in the Quiksilver Pro France.

Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title Series was won by 17 year-old Brazilian prodigy Gabriel Medina at La Graviere on the Bay of Biscay coast yesterday (Wednesday).

Jordy Smith (Cape Town), seen here in action during his semifinal loss to Julian Wilson (AUS), finished third in the Quiksilver Pro France, his first ASP World Tour event since suffering a rib injury in Tahiti in August 2011. Photo Credit: ASP / Cestari

Smith produced an impressive return to form throughout the event, eliminating fellow progressive surfing standout Dane Reynolds (USA), the in form current ASP No. 2 Owen Wright (AUS) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) on his way to the semifinals before being ousted by Julian Wilson (AUS), the eventual runner-up.

“I’m really happy with a 3rd and it’s a good result for me,” Smith said. “To be honest, I’m just happy to be back in the water. It feels great to be back and I just couldn’t get into the right waves until the end of that semifinal. Julian (Wilson) got off to a good start and he’s been ripping so I hope he posts a win here.”

The result earned Smith US $17 500 (approx. R140 000) and a precious 6 500 ASP World Title ranking points which saw the 23 year-old, who lives in Cape Town when not on tour, move up three places to No. 5 in the rankings. Smith was sitting at No. 2 in the rankings prior to injury and is hesitant to commit to chasing the ASP World Title in 2011.

“A miracle would have to happen for me to get back in the race,” Smith said. “I’m not looking at the World Title right now as I’ve missed two events. Kelly (Slater) has a good chance at winning it at the moment. Owen (Wright) is right there too. The rest of us are all just looking to get back in the game.”

Medina, 17, a newcomer to the elite ASP Top 34 after qualifying via the Star and Prime rated events in September’s mid-season rotation, secured his inaugural ASP World Title victory by cutting a swathe through the world’s best surfers in just his second event at the top level.

“This is the best feeling ever,” Medina said. “I beat some great guys on the way to final and I’m very stoked now. I want to thank all my friends and family and god for their support. It has been an amazing week for me. Just two years ago, I was here competing in the King of the Groms and I won that event and now I’m here in the main event and I’ve won it. It doesn’t seem real.”

Kelly Slater (US), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, was ousted in today’s Quarterfinals by an on-fire Medina. The iconic Floridian looked out of sorts in the shifting morning conditions as the young Brazilian dominated on both his forehand and backhand.

“Not much of a performance by me,” Slater said. “I guess he surfed well, I didn’t really see much as I was just floating out the back. Unfortunately, I was out of synch the whole time and didn’t really have a chance to battle it out with him.”

South Africa’s Travis Logie was the only surfer in to defeat Medina in the Quiksilver Pro France. Logie, who received a wildcard into the 2011 ASP World Title series in the September rotation, won their non-elimination Round 1 heat with Medina relegated to Round 2 while the Durbanite advanced directly to Round 3.

Logie was ousted from the event by Taj Burrow (AUS) who managed to post the score he required to advance to Round 4 in the last minute of the high-scoring encounter. Logie finished equal 13th overall with winnings of R70 000 and 1 750 points which moved him to No. 31 in the ASP World Title rankings.

With the spray having settled in the south of France, it has been determined that the 2011 ASP World Title cannot be decided at the next event in Portugal and will go to at least the penultimate event of the season in San Francisco.

Highlights from the Quiksilver Pro France will be available via http://www.quiksilverlive.com

The next stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season will be the Rip Curl Pro Portugal from October 15 – 24, 2011.

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:

1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.00

2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.10

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:

SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.57 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 7.00
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.55

QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:

QF 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.17 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.50
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.66 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.60
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.26 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.77

QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 3.54

ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 5 (After Completion of Quiksilver Pro France):

1. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,150 pts

2. Owen Wright (AUS) 43,900 pts

3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 35,900 pts

4. Taj Burrow (AUS) 34,450 pts

5. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 34,000 pts

 31. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11,000 pts

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