Kolohe Andino tossing a huge bucket despite losing his Round 1 heat. Photo: ASP
March 2, 2013 - Day one at this year's first official event of the ASP tour, The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2014, was greeted by 3 to 4 foot waves, light wind, and clear skies at Snapper Rocks.
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.76, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.40, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.00
Opening heat of the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour season is a scorcher with long-heralded Australian talent Julian Wilson up against French phenom Jeremy Flores and South African battler Travis Logie.
Wilson's polished forehand approach smoothly cut through the Snapper walls, but the Sunshine Coaster was unable to find the waves necessary to post scores above the mid-range.
In contrast, Logie and Flores both posted scores in the 7-point range with more aggressive and powerful assaults on their backhand and forehand respectively.
Logie's backhand punctuated the pockets of the punchy righthanders, while Flores speed, power and repertoire impressed the judges on the panel to advance directly into Round 3.
Miguel Pupo got busy in the opening minutes of Heat 2 at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, vigorously attacking the Snapper walls on his backhand, establishing a few midrange scores.
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.17, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.83, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 7.37
Burrow utilized his veteran experience with cautious wave selection, waiting nearly 10 minutes to open his campaign. The regular-footer unloaded a furious combination of forehand turns for an 8.67 on his first wave, quickly backing the score up with 7.50.
Rookie Dion Atkinson answered Burrow’s opener with a solid effort of his own, igniting a Snapper set wave with a powerful opening turn followed by a series of smaller maneuvers, but failed to find the backup score.
Burrow's opening scores would prove enough for the opening heat win.
Experience and incredible fitness were the takeaways from Heat 3 of Round 1 as all three surfers - Hawaiian Fredrick Patacchia, Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson and South African Jordy Smith - are committed to a unique physicality in their approach.
Heat 3: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.03, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.37, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.40
Simpson and Smith pushed the envelopes on their forehands, blending solid rail work with full-velocity fin throws to net scores in the mid-to-high range.
However, Patacchia, who has shown a renewed focus and motivation over the past 18 months, was lethal on his backhand in the Snapper walls, opening with a 7.33 and capitalizing from there.
Heat No. 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast would see veteran power surfers Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge and Tiago Pires take on a dropping tide and inconsistent Snapper Rocks conditions.
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.43, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.60, Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.93
Parkinson opened his Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast campaign with spark against his fellow veterans, displaying the signature rail-work shaped by his local break of Snapper Rocks. Durbidge would immediately respond to Parko’s first score with a series of fins free turns, nearly matching Parkinson’s opening 7-point score. Durbidge would maintain momentum notching a midrange 6.43 that would leave his fellow competitors searching for the majority of the bout.
Parkinson would maintain his composure in the final minutes of the bout, eventually finding a long set wave that would allow the Gold Coaster to unload his impressive repertoire. Parkinson would earn an excellent 8.93 for his efforts to surpass Durbidge for the win.
As the tide approached the afternoon low, frequency of waves slowed somewhat, but barrels become more frequent for 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater, Trials Winner and wildcard Matt Banting and dynamic goofy-footer Matt Wilkinson.
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.97, Matt Banting (AUS) 13.67, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.07
Wilkinson's adaptability was on full display at the start of the heat, blending power turns with versatile displays of flexibility.
Banting, a young Australian who has been on a major roll in recent weeks with wins in Newcastle and the Trials for the Quiksilver Pro, posted a season performance of his own with a full forehand repertoire on display.
However, Slater's mastery of the break, his ability to find barrels and maximize his turns provided no quarter for his younger opponents as he advanced directly into Round 3.
As the tide bottomed out, electric wildcard Dane Reynolds, reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning and powerhouse Adam Melling took to the water for Heat 6 of Round 1, with three of the world's best regular-footers sharing in a series of heroic forehand railwork.
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.83, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.20, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.50
While Fanning and Melling contributed strong performances, Reynolds would lead the affair, advancing directly to Round 3 compliments of his unpredictably explosive combinations.
Adrian Buchan, Kai Oton would and Raoni Monteiro would battle in what would prove to be a scrappy, wave-starved affair.
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.10, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.63
Buchan would get the best of his 2014 season opener, proving his 2013 foot-injury was fully healed. While the Australian goofy-footer would only log two mid-range scores in his heat, it would be enough to stave off Otton and Monteiro for the win with the latter struggling to log substantial scores throughout the heat.
Heat 8 Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast would welcome improved conditions at Snapper Rocks brought on by the change in tide, with Nat Young, Sebastian Zietz and Aritz Aranburu making their 2014 debuts.
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 13.50, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.17, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 8.30
2013 ASP WCT Rookie of the Year Nat Young would pick up where he left off, leading the heat from start to finish after opening his campaign with a 7.00 and 6.00. Fellow tour sophomore Zietz would try and fight back midway through the bout, logging a mid range 7 of his own, but was unable to find the backup score needed to surpass the American.
With the low tide behind them, the world's best surfers began tearing apart the Superbank with power turns and fin-free maneuvers.
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.54, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.54, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.50
Nowhere was this more apparent than in the high-flying match between rookie Mitch Crews, sophomore Filipe Toledo and aerial virtuoso Josh Kerr.
While Crews's rail game and Toledo light-footed speed bursts netted both surfers scores in the 7s, it was Kerr's comprehensive assault on the bank, blending airs, barrels and full-rail turns that would prove victorious.
With the tide filling in, the Superbank would continue to deliver an incredible canvas for the world’s best. The improved conditions would set up a high-performance showdown between aerial wizards John John Florence, Gabriel Medina and Jadson Andre.
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67, John John Florence (HAW) 10.10, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.33
While scores from these progressive young bucks failed to match the previous heat, Medina's mix of backhand airs and explosive snaps would earn a pair of high 7s, carrying the Brazilian to victory while his fellow competitors were unable to find backup scores.
Snapper Rocks continued to pump through the afternoon tides and 2001 ASP World Champion and veteran campaigner C.J. Hobgood entered into a shootout against an on-fire Adriano de Souza and lethal Alejo Muniz.
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.73, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.54, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.27
De Souza, who scalped the Hurley Australian Open Qualification Series (QS) event earlier this season continued his rampage at Snapper Rocks this afternoon, blitzing the conditions on his forehand to the tune of a 14.54.
Muniz was unable to capitalize on a strong opening score, but Hobgood's backhand was ferocious in the afternoon conditions, locking in an impressive 14.73 for the heat win.
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.87, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.50
The final heat of the day would see the highly anticipated return of Owen Wright, Tahitian Powerhouse Michel Bourez and progressive American Kolohe Andino.
The international standouts would battle through slow conditions throughout their affair, with the athletes struggling to find scoring potential in the challenging lineup.
A flurry of exchanges would occur in the final minutes of the heat between all three competitors, with Bourez getting the best of the affair to advance directly to Round 3 despite a last second flip-flop in the lead between Bourez and Owen Wright.
For full coverage of the event, check out www.aspworldtour.com