The Gold Coast’s Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro set the balling rolling on the 2014 ASP tour over the weekend where surfers and spectators hit the beach at Snapper Rocks.
Australian Joel Parkinson opened his Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast campaign with spark against fellow veterans, Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Tiago Pires (PRT), displaying the signature rail-work shaped by his local break of Snapper Rocks.
Parkinson maintained his composure through the heat, finding a long set-wave and a rare barrel ride in the final minutes. The Gold Coast local earned one of the highest single-wave scores (8.93) and two-wave heat totals (16.43) for his efforts and surpassed Durbidge for the win.
‘I felt good, I felt relaxed and my board felt amazing! Sometimes half the battle is feeling comfortable and confident with your equipment’, said Parkinson. ‘It was a small but hollow wave so there weren’t many options but it was a good barrel. The first round is definitely a free ride, let’s see what happens in the second round.’
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time ASP World Champion won through Round 1, but was forced to fight for the win with Trial winner Matt Banting (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), both posting excellent scores.
Slater is the barometer for good surfing out at Snapper, winning the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast an unprecedented four times (2013, 2011, 2008, 2006) and is the only non-Australian to take the event title.
‘I really love this wave, but I feel like it suits everybody’s surfing and I don’t know why it’s been such a good event for me’, said Slater.
‘The event site here is awesome, the structure and how much space we have now. We have a lot of room to breathe and a lot of quiet too before you paddle out which is really nice. Behind the scenes it seems like there’s a lot more happening and everyone’s really excited for the year ahead.’
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ, Stop No. 1 of 10 on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, was called ON for Round 1 in two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves. There were standout performances from reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, Carissa Moore (HAW), and rookies Alessa Quizon (HAW) and Dimity Stoyle (AUS).
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 1:
Hawaiian rookie, Alessa Quizon, reigned supreme over South Africa’s Bianca Buitentag and five-time ASP Women’s World Champion and local favorite, Stephanie Gilmore. Quizon scored a 7.93 out of a possible 10 for an explosive series of backhand turns and drew an interference on Gilmore, which effectively took the veteran out of heat contention. Gilmore will face Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Round 2 Heat 5.
Alessa Quizon (HAW) (Winner), ‘Steph (Gilmore) knows how to surf this wave and I thought of course I had to draw her in heat one of my rookie year’, said Quizon.
‘I went into the heat super nervous, I was shaking and falling on my first few waves. Then I knew I had to get a good wave and not fall off. It’s tricky out there, one wave Steph and I were both going and I don’t think she knew I had priority, but I just kept going. Winning that heat takes a lot of pressure off.’
Stephanie Gilmore says that she thinks the priority mistake really caught her off guard.
‘I learnt something; it’s always good to come out from a heat learning something and you can take that into your next heat’, said Gilmore.
‘Sudden death is always a hard one and I don’t particularly want to be in Round 2 but I get to surf the beautiful Snapper Rocks again, which is one of my favorite things to do.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 2:
Pauline Ado (FRA) won her opening heat at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast by the narrowest of margins, finishing only 0.10 ahead of Californian Courtney Conlogue (USA). Ado has been in Australia warming up for this event for the last few weeks and her extra time in the water has paid off as she selected the best waves in the tricky conditions and maximised use of her priority.
‘It was a nerve-racking heat’, Ado said. ‘I knew I needed a good score and Courtney (Conlogue) and Nikki (Van Dijk) kept catching waves too so I didn’t really know what I needed. I have some experience now, but the first heat of the year is always hard. We’re all off training for a few months and you never know what everyone’s been doing so you don’t really know what to expect.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 3:
Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, continued to build on her dominant form from 2013 in her first ASP Women’s WCT Heat for 2014. Moore scored an excellent 9.00 (out of a possible 10) for a series of powerful carving turns, throwing big fans of water with every carve to easily win the heat and earn the right to skip Round 2 and advance directly into Round 3.
‘My biggest worry out there was finding the right waves’, said Moore. ‘I had a lot of fun and I’m just happy to open up with a key win. There’s so much excitement around this event with the effort put forth by the ASP to really improve the women’s side of the Tour, getting some great venues back and just supporting us and making us more equal to the men has been great. I don’t think it’s ever been better.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 4:
Defending Roxy Pro Gold Coast Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) got the best of Hawaiian Alana Blanchard and rookie Johanne Defay (FRA). Wright ended her heat with an 8.13, opening her Roxy Pro campaign with a dominant Round 1 performance.
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 5:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) consistently netted mid-range scores but it wasn’t enough to defeat Paige Hareb of New Zealand. Hareb capitalised late in the affair on her backhand, the powerful goofy-footer punctuating the Snapper walls. Fitzgibbons will face fellow Australian, and event wildcard, Keely Andrew in Round 2 Heat 3.
‘Last year I never even skipped the second round so that’s a bonus for me already for the first heat of the year’, said Hareb. ‘It’s really exciting to be here, I love it. It’s a preview for what the whole year is going to be like so that’s awesome. I have Chelsea Hedges training me, she’s a goofy-footer as well and has won this event before. She has helped me out a lot.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Heat 6:
Australia’s Dimity Stoyle earned the day’s high single wave score, 9.13, for a barrage of powerful forehand gouges. Rookie Stoyle won out against America’s Lakey Peterson and Hawaii’s Coco Ho making her Roxy Pro Gold Coast debut in strong fashion.
‘I seriously couldn’t have started my year better’, said Stoyle. ‘I didn’t know what to expect when I was coming into this event, I was hoping I could just get some high scores. They score really hard and you have to get some really good waves and surf really well to get in the excellent range, so I can’t believe I just scored a 9 and 8 in my first heat.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.83, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.93, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 7.00
Heat 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.93, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.83, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.04
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.57, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.96, Keely Andrew (AUS) 8.93
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.06, Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.00
Heat 5: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.23, Laura Enever (AUS) 11.90, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.50
Heat 6: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 17.13, Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.67, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.17
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS)