ASP’s morning assessment noted the drop in swell to two-to-three foot and windy conditions. The judges waited for the tide to peak with the first heat kicking off at 11:45am.
Trials winner Matt Banting took on reigning three-time ASP World Champ Mick Fanning. Fanning’s comprehensive assault on Snapper Rocks showcased the local’s power, speed and extensive knowledge of the break. Banting answered back with an impressive aerial in the latter stages of the bout, but couldn’t overcome Fanning.
In heat two, ASP Wild Card Tiago Pires made a major statement, unloading powerful forehand turns and threading the needle on a technical barrel to edge out Jordy Smith by a score of 12.70 to 12.67.
Australians Kai Otton and rookie Dion Atkinson would do battle in heat four with Dion causing the second upset of the day by collecting his first career ASP WCT heat win.
By heat five the tide had continued to drop and an increase of strategy coming into play with the decreased wave frequency. Hawaiian John John Florence and South African Travis Logie. Logie’s commitment to a powerful backhand approach that would net the heat high single-wave score of an 8.77.
After heat six there was a one hour delay to wait for improved conditions. Heat seven saw Aritz Aranburu blitz rifling Snapper Rocks conditions against Adriano de Souza. Veteran patience would see De Souza lock in to the best waves of the heat. Aranburu would answer with some promising rides of his own, but was unable to amass the near-perfect score needed to surpass De Souza for the win.
The final heat of the day saw Mitch Crews score a 13.76 over Filipe Toledo’s 7.83.
See you tomorrow at 7.30am local time for the morning call! Get exclusive photos, videos, updates and more at quiksilver.com/progoldcoast
Feature image: Tiago Pires © ASP/ Kirstin