South Africa’s Jordy Smith and Travis Logie have advanced to Round 3 of the R2.5 million Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No 8 of 11 on the 2008 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, currently running on the South-West coast of France.
The Durbanites won their Round 1 heats on Saturday to skip the cut throat Round 2 and move directly into the last 32 in the event.
Royden Bryson (East London) and Ricky Basnett (Bluff), the other two SA campaigners amongst the elite Top 45 on the Dream Tour, were eliminated on Sunday, losing out to Americans Chris Ward and Bobby Martinez respectively in Round 2 to finish equal 33rd. Smith, ranked No. 22 in his first year on the ASP World Tour, has been seeded against fellow rookie and current No.20, Dane Reynolds (USA) in a Round 3 match up of future stars. In their only other clash this year, Reynolds beat Smith in Round 3 in Tahiti.
Logie, a four-year veteran at the highest level, faces an encounter with current World No. 6 Adriano de Souza (BRA). Logie, who has previously won a major World Qualifying Series (WQS) event in France, needs a good result in France if he is to requalify for the 2009 ASP World Tour.
The 2002 ISA World Champion currently occupies 39th position in the ratings and only the top 27 automatically qualify for the following year’s tour.
Kelly Slater (USA), kept his bid for an unprecedented 9th ASP World Title on track by defeating wildcard Tim Boal (FRA) in Round 2 after finishing second to another French wildcard, Joan Duru, in his opening heat.
Slater has dominated the 2008 ASP World Tour, winning five of the seven events completed and building a huge ratings lead.
Only Australians Taj Burrow and Bede Durbidge can mathematically still overhaul the American, with Burrow needing to finish at least third and Durbidge having to reach the final in this event to keep the World Title race alive going into the ninth event in Spain at the end of the month.
After a lay day on Monday due to small surf in France, the event is expected to resume Tuesday.