GOLD COAST, Australia – Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23, known as Spartan amongst his ASP Top 45 peers thaks to his natural power surfing and impressive wave assaults, will be starting his second consecutive ASP World Tour season in a couple of days at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by Land Rover, this year’s ASP Dream Tour kick-off.
Bourez, who battled for the ASP rookie of the Year award in 2009 but came short of three places leaving Hawaiian powerhouse Kekoa Bacalso (Oahu, HAW) take the prestigious reward. With a full year of experience against the world’s best and several stellar performances including an incredible heat-win over reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Gold Coast, AUS) at the Billabong Pro J-Bay, Bourez is back in superb form and ready to start off his season well.
Second French Polynesian ever to enter the elite of surfing after Vetea David in the 90’s, Bourez knows what it takes to score big, to throw buckets of water on a turn and to get barreled. “Spartan” sat down with ASP Europe media for a quick chat before he paddles back out at the world famous venue of Snapper Rocks, main site of the 2010 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Here are his words…
“It’s been a good break since the end of the tour at Pipeline in December. I left Oahu after the event and spent a month at home in Tahiti to regroup, recharge batteries and enjoy the relief of having re-qualified. I spent the end-of-the-year holidays with my girlfriend and my family, and my mates of course!
2009 was a demanding and long year, but I learnt a lot of things. It’s been a very interesting year for me and I think the experience I have from that first year is huge. I wish I could have done better in the final event at Pipeline but that’s life. I am already 100% focused on the first event coming-up in the next few days. I think I know what to expect from that first stop at Snapper Rocks and I am looking at a better result (last year Bourez got a 33rd place finish in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
When I look back at my path that led to the ASP Top 45, I think I had a great time and gathered enough experience on the ASP WQS where I competed for three years. The level of surfing displayed on tour has been going up every year and 2010 will once again be very tough. But I am confident with my surfing.
I am planning a lot of work on my boards and to sharpen my competitive approach. I’ve always surfed with short boards, and I’ve been working a lot with shapers from NEV and FIREWIRE. I can’t wait to get these sticks out in the water, especially those 5’7” I’ve had made up for D-Bah if the event goes there.
I feel ready physically and mentally for this new challenging year and my coach Andy King will be following me at all events so travelling together should be a precious help. I still have my own way to approach an event, super pumped and motivated but I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I will be analyzing my heats more this year. The training camp put up by Red Bull gave me a great motivation to start with. I feel like I have clear goals, reachable goals and I am looking at putting in motion what I learnt from that camp. It’s just super motivating to be part of such a program.
2010 will see a lot of changes within the ASP. It’s kind of a test for all of us so I guess I’ll just take it as it comes and not think too much about the added pressure or changes. We just have to go with it and do our best every time we compete, and that remains the same for 2010.
As far as business is concerned, things are going well for me. Nike 6.0 and Red Bull are my main sponsors and Kelly Surfboards and FireWire supply me with boards and help me develop my own boards. There is a good chance we release my own pro-model in 2010 so it’s pretty exciting. Air Tahiti Nui keeps helping out with all my travel needs across the world and Future Fins and OAM will be helping out with all technical supplies.
I’ll catch up with you all later, and focus on the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast for now. Thanks and speak soon,”