SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Saturday, March 9, 2013) - The opening four heats of the elimination Round 2 got underway today at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover as the world's best surfers battled one another in the punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Snapper Rocks.
Event No. 1 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast returned to competition today after three, consecutive lay days and the ASP Top 34 came back with a fury.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, reigning ASP World Champion, was dominant in his Round 2 match-up against local wildcard Brent Dorrington (AUS), 26, this afternoon. The powerful natural-footer posted the afternoon high heat total of 17.10 out of a possible 20 for an unparalleled display of power and flow on his forehand.
"I wasn't so much nervous as I was excited," Parkinson said. "I've been ready to get this heat underway for a few days now. We've come down to the beach the last few mornings ready to go and then had to get back in the car and go home. It feels good to get it out of the way and now I can re-focus on the remainder of the event."
Despite being the reigning ASP World No. 1 and a local standout, Parkinson admits that this season's ASP Top 34 field is as dangerous as it ever has been.
"It's the first event of the year so everyone is frothing," Parkinson said. "Everyone on tour these days is dangerous, even the wildcards. Nothing's guaranteed and you just have to go out and surf your best in every round."
Parkinson will face former ASP Top 34 competitor and Quiksilver Pro wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA), 27, in Round 3 when competition resumes.
Reynolds scored an exciting come-from-behind victory against Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, in Round 2 this afternoon. The young Brazilian took an early lead with a 9.10 for a series of rapid-fire forehand slashes, but Reynolds responded with a 9.40 of his own for a bevy of incredible fin-free maneuvers.
"When an opponent gets a high score early in the heat, I either buckle or free myself up to surf better," Reynolds said. "The 9.40 I took wasn't the best wave but I didn't have anything to lose at that point so I just pushed as hard as I could on that last turn and made it and got the score. Pretty stoked. I would have been bummed to come all the way out here and lose to heats so I'm happy to be through to Round 3 and hopefully we keep getting good waves."
"It's pretty rewarding when you get to the end of the wave knowing you've gotten the score," Burrow said. "I'm healthy and feeling confident in my surfing, but yeah, I was a bit nervous there against Willian (Cardoso) when he was in the lead at the end. Fortunately the wave came and I was able to do my thing."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to reassess conditions for a possible 8am start.
Highlights from the Quiksilver Land Rover will be available via quiksilverlive.com
For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com