Date: Monday, March 10, 2014
Schedule: Round 3 (Heats 1 - 12) of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
Conditions: Three-to-Five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Snapper Rocks. Light wind.
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.93
Solid surf at Snapper Rocks welcomed Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast as former event winner Taj Burrow battled lethal South African Travis Logie.
Logie drew first blood on his backhand, linking a rapid-fire series of turns for a mid-range score.
The Western Australian answered back, however, with monster floater-to-power-gaff combinations and a powerful series of forehand turns.
Heat 2: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 10.93 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.10
Action followed with islanders Fred Patacchia facing off against Michel Bourez. The Hawaiian got off to a quick start, catching three waves in the early minutes of the heat while the Tahitian remained relatively quiet throughout the first 10 minutes of the affair.
Patacchia latched onto the lead following a series of small exchanges, unloading a barrage of backhand combinations, earning a 7-point ride. The Tahitian would battle hard in an attempt to answer back, but was unable to find the opportunity needed to surpass Patacchia.
Heat 3: Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.16 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.76
Heat 3 was an all-Queenslander affair between the world-class act of Julian Wilson and progressive rookie Mitch Crews.
Despite the inexperience, Crews held nothing back in the bout, utilizing his local knowledge to select the most quality waves and decimating them with full-rail turns and power hooks.
Wilson's mid-heat acrobatics wowed fans on the beach and around the world, but the Sunshine Coaster was unable to compound the one-off maneuvers with the high-scoring combinations needed to prevent the upset.
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.20 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 9.96
Heat 4 would see American veteran C.J. Hobgood take on Australian tactician Adam Melling in what would prove to be a scrappy affair.
Both Hobgood and Melling would struggle to find average scores throughout the bout, but the competitors would share a flurry of exchanges in the final two minutes, with Hobgood emerging with the win.
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.16 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 4.77
Brazilian wunderkind Gabriel Medina and steely Australian veteran Adrian Buchan clashed in Heat 5 for an all-goofyfooter affair.
Medina, who was injured at Snapper Rocks in 2013, showed no signs of hesitation today lighting up the righthanders with power and flair.
Buchan failed to find a rhythm in the early afternoon conditions and will have to regroup before the next stop in Margaret River.
Heat 6: Mick Fanning 14.33 (AUS) Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.83
Heat 6 would see a superheat between reigning three-time ASP World Champ Mick Fanning and dangerous Wildcard Dane Reynolds.
While the two icons would get off to a slow start throughout the first half of the bout, an explosive exchange at the halfway mark would put Fanning out front compliments of an 8.50.
Reynolds displayed his organic approach on a last-minute ride, but would fall shy of the score needed to surpass the local favorite.
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.57 def Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.67
Snapper Rocks continued to clean up as Round 3 past the midway point with 11-time ASP World Champion and 2013 Runner-Up Kelly Slater took on Quiksilver teammate Tiago Pires.
Slater, defending, event champion wasted no time in asserting his dominance, blasting a 9.07 and a 7.50 for a comprehensive assault on the Snapper bank. Carrying no injuries for the start of the 2014 season, the Floridian is looking particularly dangerous at the opening event of the year.
Pires struggled to find opportunity in the afternoon conditions and closes his Quiksilver Pro campaign out with an Equal 13th.
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.00 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.33
Heat 8 would see passionate Brazilian Adriano de Souza face off against surgical Frenchman Jeremy Flores.
De Souza would post a big score to open his campaign, notching an excellent 8.33 with an impressive array of powerful forehand maneuvers.
Flores would put together some flash of his own, but a costly interference would see the De Souza secure a Round 4 berth.
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.57 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.33
Conditions slowed for the afternoon bout between vanguard aerialists Josh Kerr and Kolohe Andino.
The Californian opened up with a series of strong turns for a mid-range scores, but went quiet until the end of the heat.
The veteran Australian, on the other hand, played the patience game and utilized his years of experience at Snapper Rocks to select the higher-scoring waves and take out the heat win.
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 15.17 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.60
The backhand battle between goofy-footers Nat Young and Jadson Andre would prove to be one of the most explosive matches of Round 3, with both surfers igniting the Superbank with impressive power.
The sparky resurgence of Jadson Andre continued, while Rookie of the Year Nat Young picked up where he left off with electric surfing on the WCT stage.
Both competitors would put together excellent rides, but Young's 9.00 would see the American log a slot in Round 4.
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.20 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.90
Heat 11 would see the third all-goofy battle of the Round, with Brazilian Miguel Pupo taking on Australian Owen Wright in what would prove to be the highest scoring heat of the round.
Pupo would get off to a quick start, delivering a series of searing backhand blasts, notching an excellent 8.87 to open his campaign.
While the midsection of the heat would see both competitors fail to log substantial scores, an incredible exchange would unfold in the back end of the heat. Pupo would detonate a solid backup ride of 7.17 while Wright would unload his best ride since returning to competition, decimating a long snapper wall to the tune of a near perfect 9.73.
While Wright's 9.73 marks the highest score of Quiksilver Pro competition, his two-wave total was not enough to surpass Pupo for the win.
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.66 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.24
The final heat of the day would see 2012 ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson take on rookie Dion Atkinson.
Parkinson would jump out to an early lead, but Atkinson would claw his way back in to the heat with a stylish array of forehand carves and snaps.
Atkinson would strike once again in the final minutes of the heat, but fall just shy of the score needed to surpass Parkinson