LA GRAVIERE, Hossegor/France (Thursday, September 27, 2012) – The Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No. 7 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), commences its waiting period tomorrow and the world’s best surfers are prepared for battle at the idyllic sandbars of Hossegor’s La Graviere.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, defending Quiksilver Pro France Champion and current No. 12 on the ASP WCT, secured a career first elite tour victory in Hossegor last season in just his second appearance as an official member of the ASP Top 34. With a year’s worth of experience under his belt against the world’s best surfers, the prodigious Brazilian is excited about returning to France to defend his title.
“I have been coming to France for a long time and I love the waves here,” Medina said. “The waves have a lot of variety and I have a lot of history here. I won the King of the Groms here in 2009 and then two years later won the main event. I hope I can have another good year here.”
Medina, fresh off of a 9th place finish at Lower Trestles, has continued to deliver a lethal aerial game this season and the Hossegor’s French beachbreaks offer up the perfect arena for the young Brazilian to showcase his talents.
“The waves in France offer a lot of variety,” Medina said. “Some days are good for barrels. Some days are good for airs. Others for turns. That’s what I like about them. Every day can offer something different.”
Medina will take on C.J. Hobgood (USA), 33, and Fredrick Patacchia, 30, in Round 1 of competition. Patacchia has replaced Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 30, who remains sidelined following a knee injury sustained at Tavarua in June.
Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, current No. 11 on the ASP WCT, has built momentum throughout his sophomore year amongst the elite and the progressive Australian’s well-rounded fundamentals could prove dangerous in the ever-changing conditions of Southern France.
“France is one of my favorite events,” Wilson said. “I have had a lot of experience there as a grommet and then as a wildcard. It’s been the site of my best result so far on the WCT and I feel very comfortable there. Hoping for one better this year, but we’ll see what the week brings.”
Wilson, who finished runner-up at the Quiksilver Pro France last season, is coming off of a recent win at the ASP Prime in Huntington Beach and the passionate Australian will be hungry to improve on last year’s second place finish at the Quiksilver Pro France.
“I’ve had a pretty decent season so far but haven’t had any breakaway results,” Wilson said. “I had a really strong European leg last year and I’m hoping that will translate to these upcoming events.
Wilson will face former event winner Adrian Buchan (AUS), 30, and Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, in Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro France.
Joining the ASP Top 34 in France will be former elite tour campaigner Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, and trials winner Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), 22, as wildcards.
Event organizers will convene tomorrow morning at 8:30am to assess conditions for a possible 9am start.