Jay Quinn (Gis) has broken into the top 50 surfers in the world after an impressive third placing at a six star prime event on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour over the weekend.
Quinn was competing at the Billabong Pro in the Azores Islands off Portugal, a region renowned for it's beauty. Despite some excellent waves early on in the event, the final day was played out in tricky 1.5m waves and onshore winds.
"Mate it was a matter of just keeping busy and trying to find something to run along the beach. It was extremely hard conditions" commented Quinn.
He lost a close battle against eventual runner up Nate Yeomans (USA) who lost to CJ Hobgood (USA) in the final. In a low scoring semifinal encounter, needing only a 5.23 point ride to take the lead with over ten minutes left, Quinn fell on his last turn on his best opportunity and came up short of the score required to eliminate Yeomans.
"I pretty much just had to stay on my feet and I would have made it. I am really disappointed at the moment because I had one foot in the door and didn't take advantage of it."
Despite the loss, the third placing saw Quinn jump twelve places up the rankings to 49th and sit only three places behind Richard Christie (Gis) as the top placed Kiwi.
Christie finished the event in thirteenth place after being eliminated in a head-to-head clash with Quinn.
"It is always hard going against your mate in man-on-man heat. You always want to progress alongside them but in the end you need to worry about yourself and just get through" said Quinn after coming out on top in this instance.
The European leg has not been a happy hunting ground for the Kiwis in 2011. Christie took time out mid way through the European leg returning to New Zealand while Stairmand who also travels as part of the trio was injured and returned home early. However, this result comes at a good time for Quinn heading into the final stages of the year.
"With an end to the European leg like that in the only prime rated event was amazing. It gave me a much needed boost up the ratings not to mention confidence" said Quinn.
Quinn will now return back to his base in Australia before heading to Santa Cruz for a prime rated event in a few weeks time and then returning back to Australia for a six-star event on Kangaroo Island.
With the pending birth of his first child, Quinn is likely to miss the final Hawaiian leg of the tour.