Shaun sets pace
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
EMERALD Beach surfer Shaun Cansdell has defeated Californian Dane Reynolds to win the year's biggest World Qualifying Series surfing contest the Rip Curl Pro Super Series in Seignosse, France.
Cansdell is a member of the 2007 Foster's ASP World Tour, but his victory yesterday is the biggest of his career, earning him US$20,000 and 3500 WQS ratings points.
The Rip Curl Pro started with 144 competitors on Monday, but after a week of consistent surf and variable weather, the final match-up saw Cansdell and Reynolds fighting for the title.
The 35-minute final hit the water in perfect three to four foot waves at Les Bourdaines.
The heat started slowly until Cansdell lodged the first decent score a 5.67 at the five minute mark.
Reynolds hit straight back with a 6.33 and a 3.67 to move into first place, but the Australian was happy to wait patiently in the line-up for the next solid set wave.
Cansdell took the lead back off Reynolds on his next ride, scoring a 7.83 on a long right-hand wave.
He scored an 8.17 later in the heat to extend his lead, leaving the Californian needing 7.18 points in the final 13 minutes.
Although Reynolds had been one of the high scorers throughout the event, the score eluded him and he remained in second when the final siren sounded.
"I am really stoked. To win an event after so many losses feels incredible and to win the final of the biggest WQS event of the year is even better," Cansdell said.
"I'm just ecstatic right now - I can't believe it!
"I actually thought I surfed better at the start of the event, but I guess my waves looked better today and yesterday. I was trying to finish off every way better and my board was working really well for me."
When asked to comment on runner-up Dane Reynolds, Cansdell was quick to hand out the compliments.
"I think Dane is the most radical surfer in the world and he definitely deserves to be on the World Tour," he said.
"I was just doing my own thing out there though today and wasn't really focusing on what he was doing too much. He's always going to blow up and put on a good show, so I was just trying to be selective with my waves and it worked in the end."