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French surfing off after two men's heats

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Veteran Australian Joel Parkinson and rookie countryman Matt Banting have lost their opening-round heat to American Nat Young on Tuesday's brief first day of competition at the World Surf League (WSL) event in France.

The event began in pumping six-to-eight foot surf at the plage des Culs Nus in Hossegor and ran through the opening two heats of round one before conditions deteriorated and forced organisers to call off surfing for the day.

The 25-year-old Young launched his French campaign impressively, recording a 7.17, the morning's biggest score.

"That's kind of been the story of the morning. There were really good waves out there - it's just a matter of finding them," Young said.

Parkinson and Banting will have to surf off in a round-two eliminator.

In a wave-starved second heat, Keanu Asing of Hawaii took down 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and fellow American Kanoa Igarashi to advance directly into Round three as well.

"It's nice to finally beat Kelly because I've never got him before," said Asing. "The waves are tricky - it's tough to even paddle out."

After only two heats, conditions deteriorated quickly and didn't offer any more scoring opportunities, forcing officials to put a halt to competition on the opening day.

"It's really tough out there," said WSL commissioner Kieren Perrow. "It really started to switch on this morning with some great waves coming in.

"Unfortunately, as soon as we got going, it went to two feet and there's some sets breaking and washing everything through and messing up the line-up so we have called competition off for the day."

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