Only five heats were surfed in the Quik Pro France today, but there was no shortage of excitement, emotion and interference. Round 3 was completed before conditions forced organizer's to call the event for the day. There are now 12 surfers left remaining in the competition.
The excitement came early when both Michael Rodrigues and Zeke Lau took to the air in a thrilling match-up of progressive surfing. It was the Brazilian, better known as M-Rod, however that won the aerial duel, locking in the morning's best heat total of 13.53.
"I know exactly what I am going to do when I launch," Rodrigues said. "With those conditions it was always the best option. It wasn't just to entertain, it just suits the way I like to surf."
The emotional angle came later when Joel Parkinson surfed his last Quik Pro France heat after being defeated by the Wildcard Mikey Wright. The 2012 World Champion has been traveling to Hossegor for 17 years and has a special bond with the waves and the people of Hossegor.
"I'm not happy to get beat, but I'm happy to walk away at the right time," said Parkinson. "To have Mikey Wright take me out is also special. The sport is in safe hands with surfers like that. I owe this sport and this place so much. I'll keep trying to pay it back."
He started that process by giving his board to a stoked grom on the beach. In a fitting twist Rosy Hodges then handed over her post heat interview microphone to Parkinson's 14-year-old daughter Evie. Her first question; "Dad, when are we coming back?"
The interference came in the dying seconds of the match-up between Kolohe Andino and Pat Gudauskas. Andino was in the lead, and had priority, when Gudauskas took off on a wave with a second to go in the heat. Andino then took off, but after the hooter had finished. With the heat finished priority was no longer in place and Andino was deemed to have scored an interference.
"At the end I needed an 8 and tried to get some distance from Kolohe. I took off and then he took off, but his was after the hooter," Gudauskas said. "Look, it's a terrible way to win a heat and I would never try to make that happen on purpose, but given the position I'm in, I'll take it."
Watch the Quik/Roxy Pro live on Worldsurfleague.com, App and Facebook Oct. 3-14. Next call is Oct 12 at 7:45 am CEST.