SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Tuesday, March 12, 2013) - The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, the opening stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), completed Round 5 as well as the Quarterfinals today in clean three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves at Snapper Rocks, narrowing the field down to the Final Four and setting up for tomorrow's finish.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, reigning ASP World Champion, posted the first Perfect 10 of the event today, mixing it up on the afternoon Snapper Rocks walls with unmatched style, power and versatility in his Quarterfinal bout with Julian Wilson (AUS), 24. The local standout was in sizzling form throughout the bout, posting a number of high scores and collecting the day's high heat total of an 18.27 out of a possible 20.
"That was an amazing heat to be in," Parkinson said. "Julian (Wilson) is one of the most exciting surfers in world. Even with a 10, you're never safe with him. It's one of those heats that's a big match-up on paper and there were some big exchanges going down between us. Semifinals is good start for me and I'm feeling good and excited for a big finish tomorrow."
The ASP World No. 1 will take on Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, tomorrow in the opening Semifinal of the event.
The Tahitian power broker continued his dream run at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast today, eliminating defending event champion Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, in their Quarterfinal bout.
"It's a huge win for me," Bourez said. "Taj (Burrow) is the defending champ out here and he's such a good surfer in these waves. It's been a great event for me. I'm feeling healthy and hopefully I can keep surfing well and make my first Final on tour."
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and 2012 ASP World Runner-Up, put in a juggernaut performance in this afternoon's Quarterfinals, posting an excellent 18.03 out of a possible 20 in a momentum-building display against Bede Durbidge (AUS), 30.
"That was a fun heat and it definitely improved for me towards the end," Slater said. "I'm on a new board so I didn't feel great during the start of that heat, but it felt better with each wave and was feeling really good by the end. The waves are fun and really improved following the hold. When it's clean like it is this afternoon, after the hold anyway, Snapper is a really fun wave."
Slater will face Gold Coast local and two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, in tomorrow's Semifinals.
"Mick (Fanning) and I have a lot of history together," Slater said. "We both put our competitive heads on during events and he has a lot of experience out here. The home town crowd will be backing him big time and that's always fun. Should be a good heat."
Fanning closed out the day's action with a convincing Quarterfinal win over compatriot Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 24.
"Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) has really been on point this event and has been amazing on his backhand," Fanning said. "He's a friend and a Rip Curl teammate, but we're both out there to win and I wasn't taking him lightly. The waves were pretty fun and I was able to loosen up later in the heat after putting some scores on the board. It was a solid heat for me and I feel good heading into tomorrow's final day."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start. The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will culminate tomorrow on the final day of the window.
Highlights from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover are available via quiksilverlive.com