- WSL / Damien Poullenot/ Aquashot
France, 2014: Muniz vs. Patacchia
Freddy Patacchia and Alejo Muniz face off in a hard-fought battle for survival.

Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Tomas Hermes (BRA) will replace Taj Burrow (AUS) and Freddy Patacchia (HAW) at this year's Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No. 9 of the Men's Samsung Galaxy Championship World Tour (CT).

Burrow, currently ranked No. 13 in the world, will skip the Championship Tour's European leg for the birth of his first child.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Burrow said. "This is the most monumental moment of our lives." The longtime pro hopes to return at the tail-end of the season for the Billabong Pipe Masters.

Patacchia, currently No. 27 on the Jeep Leaderboard, has withdrawn from the remainder of the CT contests this season for personal reasons. The legendary Hawaiian surfer has been on Tour for 11 consecutive seasons and said he hopes to rediscover the competitive drive that has kept him there for so long.

Out with a Bang
Patacchia Jr., an 11-year Tour veteran, calls it a season with a huge score and high five from Medina.

The replacement surfers for both Patacchia Jr. and Burrow will be solid threats when they paddle out in France. Muniz was on the CT in 2014, and is currently ranked No. 1 on the Qualifying Series, while hermes is No. 46. The last time Muniz and Hermes appeared in a CT contest together was at this year's J-Bay Open, where they finished in fifth place and 25th place, respectively.

Since then, Hermes competed against the world's elite at the Vans US Open of Surfing QS contest, where Kolohe Andino (USA) defeated him in Round 4. He was back again for the Hurley Pro, but had an early exit when Gabriel Medina (BRA) defeated him in Round 2.

J-Bay, 2015: Hermes vs. Wright
Owen Wright and Tomas Hermes trade punches in Round 2 of the J-Bay Open.

Muniz, meanwhile, made it to the Quarterfinals at J-Bay, where Mick Fanning (AUS) took him down. In Round 1 in France, he will be competing in Heat 1 against Kelly Slater (USA) and fellow Brazilian Jadson Andre, while Hermes will look to take down Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Adam Melling (AUS) in Heat 4.

Don't forget to update your Fantasy Surfing teams before the event begins. The Quiksilver Pro France will stream live daily starting October 6 local time here and on the the WSL App.

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