(COOLANGATTA, Australia (Sunday, Mar. 2, 2008) – There was no shortage of high scores posted in the 10 heats of Round 3 action surfed at Snapper Rocks today, but World No. 2 Taj Burrow (AUS) and ASP World Tour rookie Jordy Smith (ZAF) took it to the next level at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres by LG this afternoon.
Burrow posted the event’s highest heat total (a near perfect 19.20 of 20.00) with his first two waves ridden. His 9.87 and 9.33 wave scores were on the board with two-thirds of the heat still remaining.
“I tried to get a couple of waves early because I saw the tide was moving in pretty quickly,” Burrow said. “I just wanted to pounce on anything that I could, anything that had a wall, and surf my hardest to get a score.”
His opponent, Frenchman Miky Picon, could not find the waves to counteract Burrow’s attack.
“I was stoked that I got a couple of big scores because it definitely started fattening up at the end,” Burrow said. “That made it hard for Miky (Picon) to come back and for me to get another good score.”
Burrow’s high scores just eclipsed the heat total posted by Smith a few heats earlier – 19.03 out of 20.00 – a feat he paddled out eager to accomplish.
“It’s hard not to surf against the guys surfing well in the previous heats in your head,” Burrow said. “You start thinking, ‘I have to do this or I have to do better than that,’ but you don’t. The only time you actually have to beat them is when you come up against them. I find that I always want to better the top heat score because we are all pretty competitive, but really you just have to focus on the person you are against.”
Smith beat Top 10 surfer Bobby Martinez (AUS) when he bested Martinez’s 6.77 and 8.97 with his own 9.33 and 9.70. Martinez, who has three event wins in his arsenal despite only being on tour for two years, is a daunting draw for any rookie.
“I guess you always have nerves when you surf against Bobby (Martinez), he’s kind of like the gangster on tour so everyone is scared of him,” Smith joked. “I just went out there with my own game plan and luckily it worked out.”
Smith will now meet 2003 Quiksilver Pro winner Dean Morrison (AUS) in Round 4.
“Dean is really an amazing surfer,” Smith said. “He’s won this event before and being a local boy it’s not going to be easy.”
Morrison eliminated the USA’s newest superstar Dane Reynolds the heat prior to Smith’s. Had the heat gone swung in the rookie’s favor, surfing fans would have no doubt delighted at seeing high-profile rookies Reynolds and Smith meet up in Round 4. Morrison, however, delighted the home crowd.
“It’s pretty hard not to be aware of the crowd here today because there must be at least 3000 people on the beach who are only 100 metres away,” Morrison said. “There would have been no shame in losing to Dane Reynolds out there today, but I just had to surf my best, stick to my game plan and do what I could do on the waves that I caught.”
Morrison has not posted a solid result at his home break since winning the event five years ago – he settled for 9th in 2004 and has finished 17th in the three years since.
“I’ve been getting caught in that third round at home,” Morrison said. It’s the first time I’ve been in the fourth round here since 2004, so it feels nice.”
Bede Durbidge (AUS) was the highest scoring of the local contingent – which includes previous winners Morrison, Reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Joel Parkinson(AUS) – advancing today. He beat returning ASP World Tour campaigner Kieren Perrow (AUS) in the first heat of the day when he amassed a 17.63 heat total.
“There were a few little pulses in our heat and I got two of the best waves so I was pretty lucky that Kieren only got one,” Durbidge said. “The 9.67 was a small one on the inside but it had a lump that pushed across the whole wave and let me do enough turns to get the big score.”
Duurbidge lost to Fanning in the Final of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast last year, but has maintained the momentum that saw him claim the last event title on the 2007 ASP World Tour in Hawaii.
“There’s a long way to go still, but it would be good to go one better than last year,” Durbidge said. “It’s certainly one of my goals – it would be amazing to win here at home, it would be really special.”
There are still six heats of Round 3 to go and a call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7am.
The Quiksilver Pro pres. by LG will be webcast LIVE on www.aspworldtour.com/quikpro.
For more information, including athlete quotes and complimentary images, visit the Press Room on www.aspworldtour.com
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.63 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.44
Heat 2: Ben Dunn (AUS) 15.33 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.83
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA) 12.56 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 12.43
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.00 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 8.84
Heat 5: Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.10 def. Dane Reynolds (AUS) 13.27
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 19.03 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.74
Heat 7: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 14.00 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 8.66
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.33
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 19.20 vs. Mikael Picon (FRA) 7.77
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 15: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 16: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 2: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Dean Morison (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 4: Leonardo Neves (BRA) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. TBA