SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Monday, March 11, 2013) -The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover completed Rounds 3 and 4 today as the world’s best surfers did battle with one another amidst building two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks.
The opening stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast has narrowed the original 36-man field down to the final 12 with the potential to finish as soon as tomorrow.
Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, defending Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast champion, was lethal in this afternoon’s Round 4 bout, posting an incredibly-high heat total of an 18.06 out of a possible 20, and advancing 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.”
Despite Burrow’s impressive performance, Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and 2012 ASP World Runner-Up, would not be outdone, posting the day’s high heat total of an 18.27 out of a possible 20 to edge out Australians Bede Durbidge (AUS), 30, and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 24, in one of the most exciting clashes of the event.
“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), 24, has long been considered a threat to the ASP World Crown and proved his mettle once again today, besting reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, and in-form Tahitian Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, in their non-elimination Round 4 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 advances him directly to the Quarterfinals. Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009), closed out the day’s affairs with an emphatic Round 4 win over Travis Logie (ZAF), 33, and Brett Simpson (USA), 28. Fanning jumped out to an early lead, utilizing his superior wave selection and razor-sharp precision to collect a solid 15.40 out of a possible 20. This afternoon’s win vaults the Australian directly into the Quarterfinals while Logie and Simpson have been relegated to 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.”
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