Autumn is coming to Europe and with the change of season the long awaited ocean waves will start to light up the French coastline for the Quiksilver Pro France.
Quiksilver has its European headquarters down the coast from Hossegor in San Jean de Luz, so hosting it's European Pro contest at Hossegor makes perfect sense. The competition has been run since 2002 (2001 was cancelled due to the 9/11 attack in New York) and has always been kept as a mobile event. Depending on where the best waves are, the contest can move up and down the coast, visiting the waves at Hossegor, Seignosse, or even Capbreton- the neighbouring towns to Hossegor.
Over the years it has been Andy Irons (HAW) and Mick Fanning (AUS) who have dominated the contest. Irons won three contests in a row from 03' - 05', and world and event title defender Fanning has won the event twice- 07' and 09'. Over winners have included Brazilian Neco Padaratz in 02', Joel Parkinson in 06' and Adrian Buchan in 08'. So do you see a name missing from the list? Kelly Slater has never won the event, and you can bet that he'd like to change that especially as it is his primary sponsor's event.
It will be great to see how the newly culled top 34 surfers in the world do in the Atlantic waves off France. La GraviÃ¨re is a heavy wave, taking its name from the churning sand and gravel that is dredged up from the sea bed when the ocean storms create big waves. Expect to see deep barrels and big carving cut backs from the pros as they get whittled down in the coming days.