The world’s best surfers kickstarted their 2013 ASP World Championship Tour campaigns in blistering form on day one of the Quiksilver Pro presented by Land Rover. All 12 heats of the non-elimination round one were completed in clean one-metre waves of Rainbow Bay on Australia’s Gold Coast.
It was a day of mixed results for top seeded surfers, current ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (Aus) and defending Quiksilver Pro Champion, Taj Burrow (Aus) were both relegated into tomorrow’s sudden death round two heats after opening round losses. It was a better day for Kelly Slater (USA), former two world champion Mick Fanning (Aus), John John Florence (Haw) and Brazilian protégé Gabriel Medina (BRA) all included amongst the days winners to secure round three berths.
Parkinson, 31, was forced to settle for a runner-up result to Matt Wilkinson (Aus), 24, who narrowly outpointed the hometown hero. Wilkinson put on a powerful display of backhand surfing to defeat Parkinson by a mere fraction of a point, with wildcard Brent Dorrington (Aus) finishing third. Dorrington said he was surprised by the result but looking forward to a Parkisnon rematch.Wilkinson said he was happy to compete at Rainbow Bay.
Eleven-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) progressed to round three after winning a highly anticipated and hard fought opening heat. The Floridian surfed selectively and posted two high scores on his final two waves to secure the win. The 41 year-old is competing for an unprecedented 12th ASP World Title in 2013. Slater defeated fellow Americans Kolohe Andino and event wildcard, Dane Reynolds.
Hawaiian surfing superstar John John Florence scored a close win against tour veteran Kai Otton (Aus) to advance directly into round three of the Quiksilver Pro on Australia’s Gold Coast today. Thirty-three year-old Otton found a high-scoring ride late in the heat, and came within .20 of twenty year-old Florence. America’s Pat Gudauskas finished third to be relegated along with Otton into round two. Florence said securing a round three berth was important.
Two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Aus) commenced his 2013 campaign with a win over Brazil’s William Cardoso and World Tour rookie, Sebastian Zietz (Haw). Fanning opened his account early in the heat with an excellent ride and scored 9.17, and then followed 8.07 to leave both opponents to play catch-up for the entire match-up. Fanning into Round 3. Cardosa and Zietz into the sudden death round two heats.
Defending champion Taj Burrow (Aus) was defeated by an inform Bede Durbidge (Aus) and Brazil’s Raoni Monteiro (BRA) in the opening heat of the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour. Thirty year-old Durbidge, admitted to early nerves before settling down to lock in a heat high 8:00 wave score to secure a round three berth with victory. Monterio and Burrow relegated into the sudden death Burrow who failed to back up a 7.27 wave score also admitted to opening nerves.
Brazil’s Gabriel Medina claimed a last-minute win against Portugal’s Tiago Pires and Australian Kieren Perrow in round one. Needing a solid score in the dying minutes, 19 year-old Medina found a wave and locked in a 9.5 score to overtake Pires and advance through to round three of the event. Despite the win, Medina required assistance to walk after incurring an ankle injury during the encounter and was taken to hospital for further medical treatment.
An in-form Alejo Muniz defeated America’s Nat Young and Australian Josh Kerr in heat eight of the round. Muniz, 23, held a convincing lead throughout the matchup and advances straight through to the third round of the event, leaving Young and local surfer, Kerr to battle the sudden-death round two.
Muniz said that he feels at home surfing on the Gold Coast.
World number 15, Michel Bourez claimed a tight win over Australia’s Owen Wright and ASP World Tour rookie, Filipe Toledo. Wright, 23, posted a near-perfect score of 9.5 and Toledo a 9.67 but both were unable to find a high-scoring second wave to overtake a methodical Bourez who posted two excellent scores during the round one clash.
French surfer Jeremy Flores dominated his round one heat, only to have victory snatched from him in the final minutes by America’s Brett Simpson. Florez’s efforts to counter Simpson were unsuccessful and he will now surf again in the repechage round two. Australia’s Adrian Buchan placed third in the bout and he will join Florez in the sudden-death round scheduled to start tomorrow.
South Africa’s Travis Logie posted two excellent scores in the final minutes of the second heat of the day to advance through to the third round and relegate runner-up Adriano De Souza (Bra) and Hawaii’s Dusty Payne into round two.
Australian wildcard, Brent Dorrington will re-meet Parkinson in the first heat of round two in an all-local showdown. America’s Dane Reynolds will surf in heat two of the round against world number five, Adriano De Souza (BRA).
Tune in to http://www.quiksilverpro.com.au for more action beginning at 7:30am local QLD time.