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16.09.05 - QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE

HossegorHossegor, France: Quiksilver has announced that Dane Reynolds (USA) and Miky Picon (France) will receive wildcards into the Quiksilver Pro France, the ninth event on the ASP World Championship Tour, where they will take on the world's top 45 surfers.

As a wildcard, Reynolds has been creating havoc with the world's best surfers as he takes his freesurfing approach to competition, pulling out his trademark, high risk aerial manoeuvres which gain big points under the new ASP judging criteria.

And Picon, who is currently ranked number eight on the second-tier ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), the highest-rated European with a good chance of qualifying for next year's WCT, has the advantage of local knowledge at the famous Hossegor beachbreaks.

Another wildcard will be awarded to the winner of the Quiksilver Trials, which are due to be held in Hossegor, France, on Wednesday 21 September, surf-permitting.

Reynolds
Quiky Pro France wildcard Master Reynolds not only lays authentic rail but
revels in getting airborn, backhand...

The Quiksilver Trials competitors will include Jeremy Flores (France), Marlon Lipke (Germany), Alain Riou (Tahiti) and Brazil's Wiggolly Dantas, who recently won the Quiksilver King of the Groms, an international competition for Under 16 surfers.

Event organizers have also selected the two main podium sites for the Quiksilver Pro France, which has a competition window from Friday 23 September to Sunday 2 October, 2005, and is a critical event for the world title race.

The podiums will be set up at La Graviere and La Nord, two classic breaks in the South-West French town of Hossegor, with a backup site at Lafitenia, St Jean de Luz, if the swell gets huge. Last year La Nord delivered perfect 3-4 metre (eight to 12 foot) surf for the final day of the Quiksilver Pro.

Reynolds
...or forehand. He took out Andy Irons in the Boost Mobile Pro Presented by
Quiksilver last year, but in the following heat (which this shot is from),
six times world champ Kelly Slater sent him back to the benches. Dane is
swiftly and progressively amassing top level experience, and as a wildcard
in this year's Quiksilver Pro France, he may very well bust through to yield
better results than we've seen to date. He is well worthy of the top shelf.

Six-time world champion Kelly Slater is currently leading the ratings ahead of three-time and current world champion Andy Irons. Both have won in France but Irons is the defending event champion, having won the past two Quiksilver Pro France titles, and making the finals three years in a row.

"I'm looking forward to France," Irons said. "France has been really good to me the last three years, I've been in the final every year, so I'm really looking forward to going back there and hopefully get a good result."

It's going to be a battle royale. Tune into the live webcast of the Quiksilver Pro France at www.quiksilver.com and www.aspworldtour.com The broadcast will be in four languages - English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.