Quiksilver Pro Down to The Sharp End

THE Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented completed Rounds 3 and 4 in a building swell at Snapper Rocks. The event is down to the final 12 and will finish tomorrow, or Wednesday.

Jake Patterson remains insistent that he will hold out for the best swell of the event window and put the surfers in the best conditions the shifting sands of the Superbank will allow - but this aint easy. Kelly didn't want to surf before heading out and and posting to nine pointers, telling you that no-one can guarantee anything except Slater's ability to put points on the board. It's not been great out there, you'd probably be scoring Snapper a 5 out of 10 for quality. Begging the question if they will they move to Kirra for the final two days? Who knows but the forecast is for the swell to be a similar size on Tuesday before peaking on Wednesday, a strong pulse of wind swell will be supplemented by a longer period but smaller swell.

"Hopefully we can get some waves at Kirra either tomorrow or Wednesday and finish in some barrels.”Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow dominated the scoring, both posting 18 point totals. “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 would not be outdone, posting the day’s high heat total of an 18.27 out of a possible 20 to edge out Bede Durbidge and Matt Wilkinson 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 proved his mettle once again today, besting reigning World Champion Joel Parkinson and Tahitian Michel Bourez.

“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 closed out the day’s affairs with an emphatic Round 4 win over Travis Logie and Brett Simpson. 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.

“The level of performance has been so high today,” Fanning said. “Travis knocked out Jordy Smith earlier and Brett 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.”

Want to watch any of these heats? Hit the heat review button. And the waves? They are forecast to be the largest of the competition so far peaking on Wednesday, the final day in the holding period.

Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.23 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.34
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.50
Heat 9: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.63 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.37
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.16 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.53
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.44 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.43
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.67 def. Nat Young (USA) 16.36

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

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)

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

Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley