Asher Pacey headed aGold Coast surfing trifecta, winning the Quiksilver Airshow in NewZealand to claim his largest ever prize purse of $10,000. 23-year-oldPacey broke through for his inaugural victory after three years ofcompeting on the international series, defeating fellow Coolangattasurfer and former world Airshow champion Josh Kerr with Currumbin’s DionAgius forced to settle for third.
Pacey pulled off the highest scoring manoeuvre of the final, a massivefront-side air and posted an 8.17 to set up his win. He continued hisdomination of the final by stomping a “backside shove-it” toconvincingly defeat Kerr and place, himself at the head of the 2004Quiksilver Airshow World Series rankings.
“It feels amazing – I’m totally blown away as I only just scrapped intothe final.” Pacey said surrounded by friends. “I had a slow start inthe final and got a couple of decent waves but I thought I saw the otherboys doing well also. I try “shove its” a lot of the time so I tried tochange it up in the final I guess and it worked for me.”
“The Airshow Series is my main focus and it’s so good to have our owncircuit as a lot our surfing styles don’t fit the WQS format and so Icouldn’t be happier to be here and get my first win”Pacey added.
Clean 1-metre (3ft) waves were on offer for the opening event of the2004 Airshow Series, organizers delaying the earlier rounds to wait forthe incoming tide’s superior conditions.
19 year-old Josh Kerr, showing no signs of a badly broken leg lastyear, was the in-form surfer of the one-day tournament, continuallyperforming his trademark front-side air reverse with ease in front ofthe crowd. He pulled off a massive signature moves in the 25-minutefinal but came unstuck in the landing therefore not scoring the pointsneeded.
“I was pretty devastated as I blew the best air of the final but tocome in and see Asher win makes me feel so much better. I couldn’tthink of anyone better to have won and I’m stoked on getting second. It’s a great start to the year. That’s all in the past now,” Kerr saidabout recovering from his broken leg. Bones heal and it’s all good, Ihave to keep watching my ankle but overall I’m feeling 100%. I think Igot a bit relaxed on the spin around and caught an edge but oh well, I’mstoked to get 2nd.
Agius surfed threw down several frontside airs to finish 3rd and WadeGoodall (Coloundra, QLD), who won every heat on his way to the final,locked in fourth with a superb display of futuristic surfing.
Western Australia’s James Catto finished fifth and also won theQuiksilver Eyewear Best Air award for massive double grab air reversejudges awarding him a 9.43 in his semi final and $500 from Quiksilver.
Torquay’s Jirah Laws was the best performing Victorian finishing sixthand notched up some high scoring waves in the earlier rounds.
The highest placed New Zealand surfer was Bobby Hansen who just missedout on the final but was a standout surfer of the day.
The 2004 Quiksilver Airshow World Airshow circuit has expanded itsinternationals horizons this season with events being staged in Japanand Bali as well as the Australian locations of Yallingup, W.A andTasmania.
Each event shares a prize purse of $20,000 with a winner’s cheque of$10,000. Airshows have created a sub-culture for the worlds mostinnovative and futuristic surfers and have attracted a strong cultfollowing around the world.
In this specialised series of surfing contests, competitors attempt tolaunch themselves as high as possible off a wave into the air,completing a technical aerial ‘move’ at the same time. Judges only scoremaneuvers performed in the air, as opposed to the more traditionalapproach of judging surfing maneuvers on a wave.
Official results of Quiksilver Airshow World Series in New Zealand.
1st Asher Pacey $10,000 – 23.1 points out of30.
2nd Josh Kerr $3,000 – 18.6 ppts
3rd Dion Agius $2,000 – 15.0 pts
4th Wade goodall $1,500 – 14.3 pts
5th James Catto $1,000 – 10.1 pts
6th Jirah Laws $500 – 4.6 pts