Top-flight surfing takes King to quarterfinals at Burleigh

 made the most of small waves at the World Surf League Qualifying Series 1000 event at Burleigh Point. Photo Tom Bennett/WSL.

Byron Bay’s Kyuss King had a fantastic result by winning through to the man-on-man quarterfinals against one of the most impressive international fields gathered for the Burleigh Pro on the Gold Coast last week.

There were small wave conditions to start the event but it slowly built and featured up to one metre for the final day at Burleigh Point.

With tiny, barely rideable waves in the early rounds, positioning, wave selection and good decision making regarding the priority system were vital to gain two solid scores.

Jack Murray (Lennox Head) got the highest-scoring ride of the heat but couldn’t get a good backup wave so finish 97th.

Zac Condon (Lennox Head) got a coveted WSL Wildcard entry to join seeded surfers Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head) in round two where they progressed with solid second rides.

Condon and McDonagh struggled to find quality waves and were both eliminated in round three while King marched on with another solid display of wave selection and fast radical surfing.

King then sneaked through in a very close decision in a stacked round four heat involving older and more experienced surfers.

In round five he faced a truly international heat with competitors from USA, Brazil and South Africa and took to the skies with a grab rail, tail-high, air-reverse 360 to score an excellent eight-point ride.

He backed it up in the dying seconds of the heat with a snap and a rare barrel for a nine-point ride and a berth in the man-on-man quarter finals.

Kyuss lost his quarterfinal against 2017 winner Oney Anwar, last year’s Burleigh winner.

The event was won by 36-year-old Nick Squiers from the NSW south coast.

Pro juniors

Byron Bay’s Joel Paxton is sitting in third place on the Australasian/Oceania Pro Junior ratings after his impressive third place at Bells Beach with Kyuss in 17th and Mikey in 32nd place.

There’s two more events close to home for our junior surfers with events in Newcastle and then Sydney in February and with such a great start this could be Paxton’s year to shine.

Facebook home

World Surf League and Facebook have announced an historic partnership that makes the social media platform the exclusive digital home for the top live events in surfing in 2018 and 2019.

This includes all elite men’s and women’s Championship Tour events, the Qualifying Series 10,000 and Big Wave Tour events, as well as the World Junior Championships.

The deal builds upon the non-exclusive live rights agreement that Facebook and WSL struck last year, in which all men’s and women’s Championship Tour events, as well as Big Wave Tour events, were simulcast on Facebook and WSL’s website and mobile app.

Aside from the significant reach on WSL channels, more than 13.9 million people watched a World Surf League event on Facebook in 2017 and they came from countries all over the world.

The top three countries in terms of unique viewers were the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

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