SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Saturday, 25 February, 2012) – The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover kicked off the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour with some great performances in shifty three-to-four foot (2 meter) surf at Snapper Rocks today. The Top 34 surfers in the world went for broke in the opening non-elimination round, the winners advance directly into Round 3, while 2nd and 3rd are forced to battle it out in Round 2.
Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11 x ASP World Champion and defending event winner, sent a clear message to his fellow competitors by posting a massive 18.80 (out of a possible 20) in the first 10 minutes of his opening heat of 2012. Slater was matched up against 2012 ASP rookie sensation Kolohe Andino (USA), 17, and event trials’ winner Garrett Parkes (AUS), 20.
“30 seconds before our heat started I saw a really good one behind the rock,” Slater said. “So my plan was to wait for the deep ones. If you watch the heats and see who won and how they won, it’s all about wave quality. The waves are fun when you get them, you just have to catch the second wave of the set because the first waves comes through and cleans it all up.”
John John Florence (HAW), 19, fresh from his maiden Vans Triple Crown win, posted the highest heat total of the day, a near perfect 19.60 (out of a possible 20). This is Florence’s first Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and he was the only 2012 rookie to notch a Round 1 win today.
“Last night was my first time surfing at Snapper, it’s an amazing wave!” Florence said. “I knew there was some good ones out there, I was out at this time last night and I got a couple. I so happy right now, I was stoked to just get those two waves, but to win the heat with some good scores is even better. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Owen Wright (AUS), 22, scored an epic come-from-behind victory in an all-Australian heat against Bede Durbidge (AUS), 28, and Kai Otton (AUS), 32. Durbidge took control of the heat early, but failed to find a backup score after posting the highest wave score of the heat and was overtaken by Wright who managed to find two good scores.
“It was a really tough heat!” Wright said. “I was out of position for a while at the start, I tried to get a couple of quick scores but it didn’t really work out. Then in the last 15 minutes I decided to wait and be more selective, and I got that wave that I got the score on and I was stoked because it had a nice wall on it. There was a couple of sections to do finners, so I thought I’d fin it to win it.”
Adam Melling (AUS), 26, took out an action packed heat against Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, and Dane Reynolds (USA), 26. All three surfers lit up the Snapper lineup with massive turns and deep tubes, but it was Melling who put his Lennox Head pointbreak experience to good use by catching the best waves.
“It’s feels great to win that one!” Melling said. “I saw in the news and they were calling it the Dane (Reynolds) verse Parko (Joel Parkinson) heat and I was thinking – what about me, I’m in this one too. Both of those guys surf unreal and I happy to get the win, my boards are feeling good and my body is fit and I’m hoping for a big year.”
Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 29, was ecstatic after his heat win against ASP World Championship Tour rookies Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, and Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26.
“It’s looking good out there on the low tide,” Monterio said. “I’m very happy to go straight to the 3rd Round, relax a bit, surf some different boards. I’m happy to be here again, I’ve got no sponsor so I’m going to try and get a good result. Gabriel (Medina) is the guy to beat, I don’t think he’s too happy right now, but he will get used to it, someone loses and someones wins. He’s been doing great, winning contests and he’s going to well again this year, for sure.”
Michel Bourez (PYF), 26, advanced directly into Round 3 after an incredible tube that netted him a 9.67 (out of a possible 10), the highest single wave score of the day.
“I waited for that wave for about 15-minutes, it was such a good feeling,” Bourez said. “I knew I needed a big score and I knew I needed to wait for the big waves to get a barrel. After the barrel you just have to hit the lip as hard as you can to get a good score and I’m so stoked. I’m glad to be here, it’s a blessing to be on tour surfing against the world’s best surfers.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, two-times ASP World Champion and former event winner, was on point in his Round 1 heat at the Quiksilver Pro today. Fanning used his local knowledge to position himself in the best spot to capitalise on the available tube rides, finishing the waves off with his signature speed carves.
“It’s great to be at home,” Fanning said. “The neck injury at the end of last year wasn’t great, I missed Pipe and spent a lot of time on the couch. Coming in to this event I guess you never know what to expect until you hit the water, Kerrzy (Josh Kerr) and I have had some great battles out here over the years. I didn’t have the best start to that one, but after a few waves, run arounds and rock jumps I got a couple of scores.”
Event organisers will reconvene at 6:30am to access conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
Today’s highlights available via www.quiksilverlive.com/progoldcoast/2012
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 13.83, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.66, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 7.70
HEAT 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.37, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.34, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.37
HEAT 3: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.63, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.37, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.60
HEAT 4: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.43, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.43, Brett Simpson (USA) 11.27
HEAT 5: Adam Melling (AUS) 15.70, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.43, Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.90
HEAT 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.80, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 12.73, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.60
HEAT 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.83, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.83, Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.67
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.00, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.96, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.60
HEAT 9: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.36, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.17, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.87
HEAT 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.77, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.67, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.00
HEAT 11: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.26, Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.67, CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.84
HEAT 12: John John Florence (HAW) 19.60, Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.50, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.50
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
HEAT 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) VS. Garrett Parkes (AUS)
HEAT 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) VS. Dane Reynolds (USA)
HEAT 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) VS. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
HEAT 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) VS. Kai Otton (AUS)
HEAT 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) VS. Taylor Knox (USA)
HEAT 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) VS. Travis Logie (ZAF)
HEAT 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) VS. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
HEAT 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) VS. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
HEAT 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) VS. Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) VS. CJ Hobgood (USA)
HEAT 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) VS. Tiago Pires (PRT)
HEAT 12: Brett Simpson (USA) VS. Kolohe Andino (USA)