SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Sunday, March 10, 2013) - The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, Event No. 1 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), completed Round 2 and the opening six heats of Round 3 today in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks and the world's best surfers put on a phenomenal display of high-performance surfing.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, reigning ASP World Champion, ousted lethal wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, in the final clash of the day. The two form natural-footers went toe-to-toe, exchanging massive scores and wowing the capacity crowd on the beach. Despite the impressive display from Reynolds, it was Parkinson's mid-heat, near-perfect 9.87 out of a possible 10 for an electric display of forehand surfing at his home venue that would seal the win.
"That was pretty exciting," Parkinson said. "Dane (Reynolds) is one of the best anywhere and yeah, I was nervous before the heat. It came down to waves and that one I got mid-heat was one of the better waves that came through this afternoon. It is a huge confidence builder as he's probably the most dangerous guy in the draw and he has nothing to lose. That said, I'm prepared for this season. I'm confident in my surfing and I'm just enjoying this first event."
Parkinson is now through to Round 4 of competition - an excellent start to his inaugural ASP World Title defense.
"Through to Round 4 so it's a start," Parkinson said. "Still a lot of really good surfers left in the draw though so it's far from over. We'll see what tomorrow brings."
Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, was absolutely dominant this afternoon in his Round 3 bout against Alejo Muniz (BRA), 23, posting an incredible 17.90 to better the Brazilian's own impressive score of a 17.57.
"It was such a tricky heat because I had an early lead and had to hold on pretty much from the beginning of the heat," Bourez said. "Alejo (Muniz) had to fight back and he did and I had to watch him stay busy the whole heat. Very happy to hold on and to keep surfing in the event. The waves are very fun and I hope we continue to get good surf for the rest of the event."
Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, defending Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner, survived a shootout in Round 3 this afternoon against 2013 ASP Dream Tour rookie Filipe Toledo (BRA), 17. Despite an aerial onslaught late in the bout by the Brazilian, it was the veteran's razor-sharp precision and power surfing that would win the heat.
"You cannot take anyone for granted on this tour," Burrow said. "Everyone is deadly, even rookies. Filipe (Toledo) has all the tricks and his strike rate is really impressive. If you give him an inch, he'll take it. Fortunately, I got the better waves and was able to execute the way I wanted. Psyched to get through to Round 4 and hopefully the waves stay fun.
"I was able to secure two good waves at the start and then I started taking some bad waves at the end because I was excited and wanted to show off my surfing," Flores said. "Happy to get a heat win though and be through to Round 4. The bank at Snapper is improving for sure, but if we were to get amazing barrels at Kirra to finish in, I would love that. I've never had a good heat out at Kirra so it would be cool to have a good one out there."
Dusty Payne (HAW), 24, posted a major upset in ousting last year's ASP World No. 10 Owen Wright (AUS), 23, in the opening heat of the morning in Round 2. After three seasons of struggling to find his footing on tour despite his universally-recognized talent, Payne's Round 2 victory over the consistent precision of Wright this morning was an excellent validation of the young Hawaiian's worthiness at the elite level of competition.
"The past few seasons, I've had to deal with some injuries so I haven't been able to put in the performances I've wanted to," Payne said. "I'm healthy now though and I've put in a lot of work to get some confidence back in my surfing. It's not easy having a low seed on tour because you draw the toughest guys. A win against Owen (Wright) is a good start and I'm sure I'll have someone else that's pretty tough in Round 3."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
John John Florence (HAW), 20, 2012 ASP World No. 4 and ASP Dream Tour sophomore, withdrew from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast prior to his Round 3 heat today, citing an ankle injury sustained during yesterday's expression session.
Florence secured a convincing Round 1 win over Kai Otton (AUS), 33, and Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 27, last Tuesday and looked like a contender to post a big result in the season-opening event. However, an injury sustained while attempted a full-rotation aerial in Saturday's expression session resulted in his withdrawal from the event today, just hours before his Round 3 match-up with (/athletes/260/adam-melling)Adam Melling] (AUS), 27.
Melling advanced directly to Round 4 of competition. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
The ASP wish John John a speedy recovery and look forward to him returning to the water soon.
Highlights from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover will be available via quiksilverlive.com
For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com