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Quiksilver Pro France Surfing Betting Preview

The Quiksilver Pro France 2013 gets underway in the early hours of Thursday morning. For those that don’t know how it work, there are 36 surfers that are divided into 12 heats of three. The winner in each heat progresses to the third round, while the two loses face each other in 12 second round head-to-heads to determine the other 12 surfers that will progress to the third round.

Kelly Slater finally won his first title in France last year

The 12 winners in the third round progress to the fourth round, where they are grouped into four heats of three surfers. The four winners progress to the quarter-finals, while the eight losers go into four fifth round ties to determine the other four quarter finalists. From there, the four winner quarter-finalists progress to the semis, then the two winners move into the final to surf for the title, the ranking points and the $75,000 prize money. Thus, the format gives surfers several opportunities to fail to win a heat, yet still progress.

The favourite is the 11-time ASP World Champion, Kelly Slater, at 3/1. However, despite all his success, he has only won once in his career at Hossegor, although that was last year. He has reached the final three times in the last five years and the quarter-finals on two other occasions. He is currently second in this year’s World Championship, having won two of the seven events and reaching one further final. He has last year’s beaten finalist, Dane Reynolds, in his heat along with Adam Melling.

The 2007 and 2009 champion, Mick Fanning, leads Slater in the World Championship standings. While he is yet to win an event this year, he has been ultra-consistent, having reached at least the semi-final in four of the seven events, plus reaching the quarter-final in another. He only reached the third round here last year, but has won this event on three previous occasions, suggesting that he loves the conditions here.

Taj Burrows won earlier this month in Trestles to put an end to a poor sequence of results and to retain hope of challenging for a first World Championship title. He has reached one further semi-final earlier this season in Australia, but chances are running out for the 35-year old.

South African, Jordy Smith, sits fourth in the standings after a good season that has seen him win in Brazil and reach two further semi-finals. A victory here would put him right in the mix for the title, particularly if Slater and Fanning slip up as they did in Trestles earlier this month. JJ Florence, at just 20, is potential the next big thing in surfing. He reached the semi-final here last year and has reached a quarter-final and semi-final in his four events this season.

The other two major contenders are the Australian pair of Julian Wilson and Joel Parkinson. Parkinson is the defending ASP World Champion, although he has not quite lived up to that success this year. He lies third in the rankings, but has reached just one final and no other semi-finals this season. Wilson reached the final in Trestles and will be looking to back up that good performance here.

With six different winners in the seven events this season, picking the victor is tricky. Instead, we focus on some of the more consistent performances and hope for returns on the each-way terms. Mick Fanning would have placed four times in seven events this season, while Jordy Smith would have placed in three of his events. I fancy the young star, JJ Florence, to perform well here as well. One outsider might be Gabriel Medina, who reached the quarter-finals last year and won it the year before.

Recommended Bets

Mick Fanning E/W @ 7/1 (Paddy Power)
Jordy Smith E/W @ 9/1 (Paddy Power)
JJ Florence E/W @ 11/1 (Paddy Power)
Gabriel Medina E/W @ 33/1 (Paddy Power)

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