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Billabong Pro J-Bay Euro Update: Pires Leads Team Europe with a 9th

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe

Billabong Pro J-Bay
Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour
Jeffreys Bay – South Africa
July 15 – 25, 2010

Billabong Pro J-Bay Euro Update: Pires Leads Team Europe with a 9th

Image caption: Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) found his way through to Round 4 of competition in South Africa before losing to Taj Burrow (AUS) [Photo credit: ASP / Cestari]

JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Tuesday, July 20, 2010) – Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT), 31, delivered a good
performance in the Billabong Pro J-Bay last weekend, the Portuguese regular-foot athlete reaching Round 4 of competition to secure an equal 9th place finish and move confidently towards the mid-year cut off when the prestigious ASP Top 45 reduces dramatically to an elite 32-man field.

Pires, who had opened his South African run with a win in Round 1 ahead of current ASP World Tour No. 5 Adriano De Souza (BRA), displayed solid surfing for his Round 3 battle against former ASP Rookie of the Year Kekoa Bacalso (Oahu, HAW) in Round 3, before losing to longtime ratings’ favorite Taj Burrow (Western Australia, AUS).

Scoring a promising 15.23 point heat total in Round 1, before confirming his good form with a good 14.60 I Round 3, Pires showed he is in good from despite his loss to an unstoppable Burrow netting valuable ratings’ points that could give him his qualification for the ASP Top 32 cut-off after the Billabong Pro Tahiti in French Polynesia.

Rated No. 15 after his result in South Africa, Pires will enjoy a break before the next ASP World Tour event where he has already showed his abilities, the so-called “Portuguese Tiger” being renowned for his backhand tube-riding skills.

Pires, whose equal 9th place finish at J-Bay is the second this year, hasn’t lost in Round 1 in 2010 yet and seems very comfortable amongst the world’s best surfers. In his third year as a member of the elite field of professional surfers, Pires is looking solid before the ASP World title race heats-up in the second part of the year.

Still ahead of Pires on the international ratings despite his Round 3 elimination in J-Bay, French Polynesian and former ASP European Champion Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23, remains Europe’s leader before the tour hits his home island.

Bourez, who delivered a good performance in South Africa despite losing to Brett Simpson (California, USA), is ranked No. 13 at the moment and is looking to shine at the world famous venue of Teahupoo, main spot of the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Nicknamed the Spartan for his natural powerful surfing, Bourez’s high-performance style and confidence shall give him all keys to a successful run in Tahiti.

Currently the lowest rated of the three European representatives on tour, former ASP Rookie of the Year Jeremy Flores (Capbreton, FRA), 21, suffered an early elimination in Round 2 of competition in South Africa despite a good opening run in Round 1 where he was able to find one of the best barrels of the event for a 9+ point ride.

Flores, who may feel added pressure when he competes in Tahiti end of August, will have to perform well at the infamous lefthander of Teahupoo to remain within the qualifying field of athletes for the second part of the year. A former Quarterfinalist in Tahiti in 2007 during his first year on tour, Flores will be ready to get barreled when competition resumes August 23.

On-demand heats are available at www.billabongpro.com


No. 13, Michel Bourez (PYF)
No. 15, Tiago Pires (PRT)

No. 24, Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe

Grégoire Puget

Email: greg@aspeurope.com

FRA Mobile: (33) 615 439 732

FRA Office: (33) 558 723 996

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and
Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

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