At the top of the rankings of the ASP World Title Race (formerly WCT), a war of nerves is raging between two generations. The Floridian Kelly Slater, nine - time World Champion, winner at Bells Beach and heading up the rankings until Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) has openly set out to conquer a 10th history creating title. A tad more discreet but equally formidable, the Australian Taj Burrow, ranked second before Tahiti, is in pole position to grab victory with his first world title. And last but not least, the Australian Mick Fanning, double World Champion and two time winner in France, remains a constant threat.
Fearlessly facing these indomitable thirty-somethings at the top of their game, stands an iconoclastic generation of young surfers, led by South African Jordy Smith, just 22 years old and already provisional world No 1 with a recent victory at home in Jeffreys Bay to boot, to say nothing of the Brazilian Jadson Andre, rookie on the tour, who pulled out his first win in Brazil last May... It remains to be seen whether the young hopefuls manage to effectively deal with the mounting pressure and the burdensome label of the man to beat.
Between these two “clans”, revolves the free electron Dane Reynolds. The Californian is only in his third season on the ASP World Tour but is already amongst the best known surfers acknowledged for the influence his radical manoeuvres, his style and his comfort in the aerials has had on the entire Dream Tour. And the Europeans? Barring any unfortunate setbacks, the Reunionese Jeremy Flores, Tiago Pires from Portugal and Tahitian Michel Bourez will all pass the fateful cut before Trestles and stay on the coveted elite list of 32 surfers entitled to continue the adventure of the ASP World Tour in 2010. Very much regarded as heroes on the continent, these three regulars on the Landes sand waves have the ability and the means to shine at home.