Kolohe Andino (USA) punted his way into the next round at the Breaka Burleigh Pro today. Pic ASP/Robertson
BURLEIGH HEADS, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday, 8 February, 2012) ? The 2012 Breaka Burleigh Pro got off to great start in fun 2 – 3 (1.5 meter) foot surf in what was a classic Gold Coast summer’s day at Burleigh Heads today. The first event on the 2012 Australian leg of the ASP World Tour, the ASP 4-Star rated Breaka Burleigh Pro offers vital points and prize money for surfers looking to jump up the ASP World Rankings.
Chris Friend (AUS) stamped his authority on this event posting two scores in the 8-point-range, earning the highest heat total of the event thus far. Friend picked off the best waves of the set and lit them up with a series of sharp turns and snaps.
“It’s great to have an event at home in Queensland, it’s only two hours drive from where I live on the Sunshine Coast,” Friend said. “The waves were really fun. I was able to sit down the point where the sand is really good and I got some scores. I entered this comp late so I had to start in the first round, but I’m not complaining because I get to surf more, and get used to the waves at Burleigh.”
Kolohe Andino (USA), the 17-year-old Californian with a big reputation for busting big airs didn’t disappoint the mass of onlookers, as he launched and landed multiple aerials to easily take the win and progress to the next round.
“I’ve been coming to the Gold Coast since I was 7-years-old,” Andino said. “It’s great to be in the Breaka Burleigh Pro, I’m going to use this and the Sydney event to warm-up for the Quiksilver Pro. I’ve had a bit of time off and I’m just working on figuring out my boards and my heat strategy. I brought 23 boards over, so it’s good to get in some fun waves and give them a try.”
Adam Bennetts (AUS) survived a last minute nail-biter in his opening round heat. Sitting in 2nd, Bennetts had done enough to advance but in the last 30 seconds Steve Powell (AUS) placed 3rd and James Brydon (AUS) 4th, both caught waves that came close to overtaking Bennetts, but fell just short.
“I could kind of see the guys waves from behind, and I didn’t think they were good enough to get the score,” Bennetts said. “But you never really know so I was pretty nervous. I don’t do a lot of comps because I usually can’t handle the pressure, but this one is fun because I surf Burleigh all the time, it’s the closest point to my house. It’s great to come down here and hang with all the Burleigh boys, and represent the Gold Coast north end crew.”
Mark Mathews (NSW), who’s made a reputation for himself surfing some of the biggest and heaviest waves on the planet, today showed he’s also got what it takes in the small stuff.
“I was a little nervous because it’s been so long since I’ve been in a comp rashie,” Mathews said. “I enter the Breaka Burleigh Pro every year hoping to score some epic waves at Burleigh because on its day it’s one of the best waves in the world. The waves were small today but I managed to get the best ones and win the heat, which is lucky because I didn’t feel like I was surfing that well.”
The Breaka Burleigh Pro is proudly supported by Breaka Flavoured Milk, Events Queensland, Surfing Queensland, ASP Australasia, Channel 7, Nova 106.9fm, SEA FM, Ooh!, Australia’s Surfing Life, GCCC, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, JR Surfboards, 5 and a half Sunglasses and Air Asia.