The opening stop on the 2013 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover completed Rounds 3 and 4 over the weekend, narrowing down the field. The world’s best surfers battled in Queensland, Australia with building 2-3ft surf. With John John Florence (HAW) out early due to an ankle injury that occurred during the Expression Session, aerial specialist Gabriel Medina (BRA) also injured, and the World Tour rookies now watching from the sidelines, its down to the wire as competition resumes looking to crown a champion.
Watch the Heat Highlights from Snapper Rocks:
Defending Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast champion, Taj Burrow (AUS), posted a high heat total of 18.06 out of 20 in Round 4 of competition. Burrow’s impressive heat advanced him directly into the Quarterfinals.
“That was a lot of fun out there,” Burrow said. “The Snapper Bank isn’t what it usually is, but there’s still some fun sections when the waves offer them. My boards are feeling really good at the moment – really fast and really responsive. This event is usually a good start to the year for me so to be into the Quarters already is a result. These days though, you really need to be putting up solid finishes and wins to be in the hunt.”
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time ASP World Champion and 2012 ASP World runner-up had to outdo Burrow by posting the highest score of the day, 18.27 out of 20. Slater edged out Australians Bebe Durbidge and Matt Wilkinson in an intense heat.
“It was an exciting heat and both Bede (Durbidge) and Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) were surfing really well,” Slater said. “It’s fortunate when it’s a non-elimination heat and guys are surfing so well – no one gets eliminated. The level has been really, really high here today and it’s a good start to the year. Hopefully we can get some waves at Kirra either tomorrow or Wednesday and finish in some barrels.”
Julian Wilson (AUS) proved to be a threat to the ASP World Tour battle when he bested reigning ASP World Champion, Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Tahitian Michel Bourez in their Round 4 non-elimination bout.
“I feel like I’m building momentum throughout this event,” Wilson said. “In the first half of that heat, I was still a bit hesitant, but felt like I was getting back into my groove at the end here. It’s been a long wait between Pipe and here and I guess I’ve been shaking off the cobwebs a bit. It feels really good to beat the champ out there. It’s a huge confidence booster.” Wilson’s win advanced him directly to the Quarterfinals.
The closing round of the day housed two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF) and Brett Simpson (USA). Fanning selected superior waves to jump into an early lead with a solid 15.40 out of 20. Fanning’s win sealed his place in the quarterfinals while Logie and Simpson must compete in Round 5.
“The level of performance has been so high today,” Fanning said. “Travis (Logie) knocked out Jordy (Smith) earlier and Brett (Simpson) is really coming into his own at the event. Everyone on tour is dangerous and I just approached that heat by trying to pull out to an early lead and loosen up my surfing. Round 4 is non-elimination, so there’s slightly less pressure but at the same time, it’s a huge advantage to leapfrog over Round 5 and go straight into the Quarters. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
WATCH LIVE on: www.quiksilverlive.com
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST REMAINING ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.23 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.34
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.50
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.63 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.37
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.16 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.53
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.44 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.43
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.67 def. Nat Young (USA) 16.36
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.06, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.83, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.07
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.60, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.13
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.27, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.60, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.44
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.40 Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.60, Brett Simpson (USA) 8.23
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 4: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD
WATCH LIVE on: www.quiksilverlive.com