Quiksilver Pro, Round 1

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posted by Stab

Mick Fanning didn’t stand in the competitors area before his heat today at the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast. And why would he? While the surfer’s deck usually looks directly into the competition area, which usually begins behind the rock at Snapper, this year it looks into a whole lot of poorly-placed sand. The debris from recent storms has jammed the sand pump and resulted in a 30 percent sand output. The energy required to run it isn’t worth the results, so there’s no pump running. That means that the event this year is all about Rainbow Bay and not Snapper. Thus, Mick’d chosen to stand where he could actually see the lineup, watching carefully between waxing up and sending texts, with his trainer Andy King standing closely behind. Eight minutes before his heat, he ran out to the point, collected his jersey, dived in, then beat Willian Cardoso and Sebastian Zietz.

Matt Wilkinson, all vertical for the lens of the ASP’s Will H-S.

“When I was younger, I mostly stuck to Snapper Rocks and Kirra,” said Mick. “But since the sand has filled in, I’ve spent a lot of time surfing through Rainbow Bay. It’s a fun wave and provides a nice wall for a variety of manoeuvres. Compared to Snapper and Kirra though, I think Rainbow probably lessens the local advantage as it’s a pretty user-friendly canvas.”

And Sebastian’s debut to the world tour was, as most debuts are, impressive but a little anticlimactic. He certainly wasn’t without his moments, though – that frontside jam of his sizzles! Today, in fact, was all about face work. The judges were sending silent messages in their scoring to signal this fact – Travis Logie posted the day’s highest heat total (18.20) by doing frontside cutbacks for his bottom turns (picture it), straight up into the lip.

What everyone believed would be heat of the day, wasn’t quite as good as expected, but still full of fireworks. Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds and Kolohe Andino. “A lot of people were really expecting a shootout between me and Dane for some reason, I think also because Kolohe didn’t have a real standout year last year,” said Kelly afterwards. “I mean, I think Kolohe’s had all the talent in the world for years, but last year was a pretty slow year for him. So I think just based on that, people weren’t expecting a whole lot from him. But I knew what he’s capable of, I surf with Kolohe a lot.”

Kelly, on his 5’6″ five-fin Weirdo Ripper (“I’ve been riding fours long enough, I’m ready to go five!”), cleaved through fat spots with the same panache as ever. Dane, on a 5’9″ #4 looked a little lost, despite showing flashes of absolute brilliance in small treats. Kolohe, on a 5’11″ Mayhem, showed that why he deserves to be on tour with some burning pocket wraps and one particularly good closeout wallet drop. Not dissimilar to one that Mr John John Florence did.

Kolohe Andino did brilliantly, but unfortunately fell to Kelly Slater.  Photo by ASP / WIll H-S

“It was kinda frustrating but all good,” said John. “I kinda just went for it on that one. I had a good little section, so…” And can y’believe John had his board waxed all the way to the nose? Like, the whole thing? Even more impressively, there were compressions right up there on the nose, too. When asked about comparisons to Kelly Slater (whose foot you’d never find on his nose), John said: “Oh, I don’t know about that, Kelly’s Kelly, and he’s got 11 world titles. I’m just having fun surfing. I’m just gonna go out and have fun, which is what I did last year.” Ain’t that the truth. The argument could be made that, with the current conditions (no tubes, terrible air wind), this could be John’s worst event this year. But today, he won, and may well continue to.

Travis Logie?  Days highest heat score.  Wow.  Photo by ASP / Kirstin

Other things you should know? Gabriel Medina injured his ankle to the point of not being able to walk without assistance. The water patrol cleaved through one of Josh Kerr’s waves but he simply ollied the wake and kept surfing. Julian Wilson won despite an interference. Filipe Toledo did a huge alleyoop that you should make your business to catch in Heats On Demand. And Kelly Slater opted to paddle all the way back up the point, rather than running up the beach after his heat. When asked what he was thinking, he replied “I was thinking I wouldn’t have to walk back through thousands of people.”

Watch it all live tomorrow, here. – Elliot Struck


Heat 1: 
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.50, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.70, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.94
Heat 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.10, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.07
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.00, Kai Otton (AUS) 14.80, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.40
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.24, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.57, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.10
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.04, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.73, Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.34
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.76, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.73, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 15.37
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.97, Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.20
Heat 8: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.60, Nat Young (USA) 11.90, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.13
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.15, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.63, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.40
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.43, Owen Wright (AUS) 15.67, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.13, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.76, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.23
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.93, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.63, Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.07

Heat 1: 
Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Brent Dorrington (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)

Heat 1: 
Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)