COOLANGATTA, QLD, Australia – Monday, March 10, 2014: After four consecutive lay days the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour resumed with Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ at Snapper Rocks this morning. Today saw the elimination of 12 athletes and the level of competition intensify as the world’s best surfers battled to set themselves up as front-runners for the 2014 ASP World Title. The predicted swell arrived in the form of three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) clean walls that set the stage for an epic day of competition.
Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) and Michel Bourez (PYF) went head to head in Heat 2 of Round 3 today, and the powerful pair didn’t disappoint, finishing the heat separated by less than one point. Patacchia took the win, thanks to his heat high score of 7.00 (out of a possible 10), that he notched for a series of precise backhand turns.
“I’m glad we waited for these waves,” Patacchia said. “It’s still difficult out there, but it’s pretty fun when you get the right waves. We’ve had a few days off so it was great to get back into competition. It’s never easy coming up against Michel (Bourez), he’s so powerful and has had good results here before so it’s great to make it through to Round 4.”
Mitch Crews (AUS), 2014 ASP WCT Rookie, caused the upset of the day when he eliminated fellow Queenslander Julian Wilson (AUS) in an exciting back-and-forth battle. Crews out positioned last year’s ASP WCT No. 6, caught the best waves and sealed the heat win with an excellent 8.33 (out of a possible 10) that he clocked for a long grinding Snapper wall that he attacked with reckless abandon with snaps and carves all the way down the line. Crews will face Taj Burrow (AUS) and Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) in Round 4.
“I knew I had to be on the best waves coming up against Julian (Wilson). He’s one of the top guys, so I had to be smart and not make stupid decisions,” said Crews. “I’ve been dedicated, eating better and looking after myself. I’m confident that I’m as fit as anyone else and it’s good to see everyone support me.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), reigning three-time ASP World Champion, dispatched Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA) in one of the most exciting match-ups of the day. Reynolds defeated Fanning in Round 1 last week and this re-match has been the talk of the town ever since. The first half of the 30-minute encounter saw the two post a couple of average scores, leaving the heat open for the taking. The last few minutes saw a flurry of rides, but deep bottom turns and explosive snaps put Fanning in front with a high-scoring 8.50 (out of a possible 10) to send the Californian packing.
“The third Round is the most dangerous Round,” said Fanning. “Coming up against competitors like Dane (Reynolds) can ruin your momentum for the rest of the year. It was really tricky out there. Out in the water I felt pretty good at the start. I was lucky enough to get the one near the rock, which allowed me to open up a little bit.”
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time ASP World Champion, defeated Portuguese surfer Tiago Pires in a performance that showed exactly why he’s won this event four times. Slater wasted no time in asserting his dominance, blasting a 9.07 (out of a possible 10), for a series of razor-sharp carving turns, while Pires struggled to find the opportunity and the scores needed to defeat the formidable Floridian. Slater will move on to compete in Round 4, as Pires’ Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast campaign comes to a close.
“It’s tricky out there, it’s one of those days where you have got to catch the good waves,” Slater said. “Tiago (Pires) and I have had a lot of heats together. I don’t underestimate Tiago at all. Obviously he has beaten me in really good waves, and I had him out here in the Semifinals a few years ago, so I know he is really good at this wave. He is one of those surfers who may not be the most dynamic guy on Tour, but he has got a lot of power. He is a great barrel rider and always puts himself on good waves.”
Heat 8 saw Adriano de Souza (BRA) face off against Jeremy Flores (FRA) for the tenth time in WCT history. De Souza, having won seven of their previous match ups, posted a big score to open his campaign today, notching an excellent 8.33 with an impressive array of powerful forehand maneuvers. Flores tried to answer, but a costly interference by the Frenchman saw the Brazilian secure a pass to Round 4 and take his eighth WCT win against Flores.
“This is my ninth season competing in this event and I’m feeling great,” said De Souza. “Jeremy (Flores) and I are good friends but we’re also very competitive so I knew it was going to be a good heat. Unfortunately he was given an interference. I saw the potential on that wave and knew it was a great opportunity for him to get back on track so I used my priority, but when I saw his board under my feet I thought something was wrong.”
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.93
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.93 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.10
Heat 3: Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.16 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.76
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.20 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 9.96
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.16 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 4.77
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.83 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.46
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.57 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.67
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.00 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.33
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.57 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.33
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 15.17 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.60
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.20 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.90
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.66 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.24
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
The first stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7.30 a.m. local time (AEST).