The start of the 2020 Championship Tour season is officially one month away, with the Corona Open Gold Coast men's and women's events set to kick off on March 26th. See all the men's surfers and women's surfers currently in the heat draw and start to prep your fantasy line ups.
Historically, a win at this event can create considerable momentum for any CT surfer looking to win a World Title. In fact, in 2019, Ferreira went on to clinch his first World Title and Marks wrapped out her season in second place on the Jepp Leaderboard.
The all-time record for most wins at the Gold Coast goes to the GOAT, Kelly Slater and the "Queen of Snapper Rocks" Stephanie Gilmore, who are both tied for six event wins. Five of Slater's wins and four of Gilmore's wins coincided with a World Title victory.
However, in 2019, Slater had a rocky start at the Gold Coast, coming in 33rd and remarking at the time that he was in a "dark place". He ultimately closed out the year eighth on the year, but his performance at Goldie took him a while to shake off.
Since 2008, every women's event winner went on to be in the World Title race that year. Not to mention, Ferreira's win last year at Goldie ending with a World Title. So it goes without saying that winning Gold Coast is a major sprint out of the gate towards a strong year on Tour.
Also on deck at this storied stretch of beach is the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast event, where a certain high-flying Brazilian phenom -- you guessed it, Italo Ferreira -- also claimed the win last year.
The Gold Coast has a deep and storied surf history that dates back to the days of the Duke and Tom Blake. In the early 1920s, members of The Kirra Surf Lifesaving Club began surfing the slow breaking waves out at Kirra Point.
The sport caught on over the next few decades until the area grabbed the attention of the global surf community in 1977 with the debut of the Stubbies Pro.
The inaugural event was held in pristine barreling conditions at Burleigh Heads with 44 men-only invitees and is notable for introducing the man-on-man format heat. Although the World Tour began in 1976, many consider that first Stubbies event to be the Tour's official debut.
Snapper, the main event site for the Gold Coast Open, is a right point that breaks off a volcanic headland with the potential for long smooth tubes groomed by the sand banks of the surrounding water.
As you head west from Snapper, the next breaks are Greenmount and Kirra. The area's banks are sustained by the Tweed River Sand Bypass, a man-made aqueduct that pumps sand from south of the river mouth.
The best conditions for Snapper are East-North-East to South-East ground swells with South wind. An East-South-East long period swell in particular will create the best conditions for long barrel rides to be had.
Watch the Corona Gold Coast Open and live March 26-April 6 on Worldsurfleague.com, App and Facebook.