The opening stop of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast completed Rounds 4 and 5 with the final eight Quarterfinalists determined for when competition recommences.
Adriano De Souza (BRA), 25, won the first three-man, non-elimination heat of Round 4 of the Quiksilver Pro. The lead changed multiple times between De Souza, Owen Wright (AUS), 22, and Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, with the Brazilian taking out the two Australians and advancing directly into the Quarterfinals.
“I just tried to concentrate on my myself because Owen (Wright) is one of the form surfers of this event and Josh (Kerr) can also do some damage out there,” De Souza said. “I tried to catch the best waves and sometimes luck is on your side and it worked out for me in that one. I’m stoked to skip Round 4 and move straight into the Quarterfinals.”
De Souza will once again face Owen Wright (AUS), 22, who went on to win his afternoon Round 5 heat, in Quarterfinal 1 when competition resumes.
Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11x ASP World Champion and last year’s Quiksilver Pro winner, didn’t take his foot off the gas in his morning Round 4 heat win. The iconic Floridian built momentum throughout the affair, even changing equipment mid-heat to adjust to the conditions.
“On that first wave I could tell my board didn’t have the pop I wanted,” Slater said. “Because the waves are so small, you need a small board to fit in the pocket, so I switched to a shorter, wider board. None of us really got in sync in that one. It was really tough to pick the right waves. I only woke up 40 minutes before my heat. I thought we were going to be off today so I was sleeping in and I got a call saying ‘get up, we’re on.’”
Slater will now face Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, in Quarterfinal 2 when competition resumes.
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 24, edged out Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, and Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, in an exciting Round 4 exchange at Snapper Rocks. Smith and Parkinson put on an epic show for the crowd and finished the heat with only 0.14 separating their score lines.
“I wanted to beat Joel (Parkinson) bad,” Smith said. “He has beaten me pretty much my whole life, so I’ve got a lot to get him back for. He’s also one of my favourite surfers so it’s tough to come up against him. Miguel (Pupo) is another tough one because he’s got all the tricks in the book. Choosing the right waves is pretty key out there.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, two-times Quiksilver Pro event Champion posted the event’s first perfect 10-point-ride in 2012 in his afternoon Round 5 match. Parkinson battled Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, for a Quarterfinal berth in glassy conditions this afternoon and the local natural-footer was in unbeatable form.
“I got stung by a blue-bottle and that fired me up!” Parkinson said. “There’s still some good waves out there and I thought we were going to have an air-off. Julian (Wilson) did some, and I tried a few, then that one came through and it had some good air sections, but they were better turn sections. I’ve got some rivalries going today – I surfed against Jordy (Smith) and we have a good one going, now Julian and I are one building too. That’s what makes healthy competition. You’re happy to get involved in a real rivalry.”
Parkinson will now re-match Jordy Smith (ZAF), 24, in Quarterfinal 3 when competition resumes.
Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, former Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner and last year’s event runner-up, once again showcased his familiarity and affinity with Snapper Rocks by posting a massive heat total – 17.34 (out of a possible 20).
“It was pretty much a 9-point-wave by itself and I just rode it,” Burrow said. “I got one good turn out the back and then one good one on the end. The judges like a good start and a good finish, so I knew it would be up there. Once I had that 9, I just really wanted to back it up with something solid. It’s pretty tough out there, but I managed to find another good score.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. to access conditions for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.