We find ourselves at the start once again. A new decade, a new beginning: the ASP World Tour in 2010 and beyond.
Much can be said for the down-to-the-wire drama that 2009's Title run held (for the men at least). Two good mates battling to the very last event. On the female side, Stephanie Gilmore has been unstoppable these last three years, but Silvana Lima from Brazil and rookie Carissa Moore could very well give “Happy Gilmore” a run for the title this year.
With the first hooter of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, slates are wiped clean. Parko's injury and 2009 collapse becomes a thing of the past. Andy's time as a spectator, done. The judging oversight by Perry Hatchett, finished. Steph's domination, now possibly challenged by sophomores Coco Ho and Sally Fitzgibbons as well as the long-time-coming women's surfing prophet, rookie Carissa Moore. Taj Burrow's continual bride's maid placement could be done if he carries over the momentum from the Pipe victory. The “Rebel Tour”, dead in the water.
With all the changes to the judging criteria and ranking system, an infusion of highly talented youngsters, and the reappearance of Snapper Rocks after months of nothingness, this year's Quiksilver and Roxy Pros promise to deliver. The waiting period gets off the ground February 27th and runs till March 10th. You can watch the entire event live at quiksilverpro.com.au/home.aspx, and be sure to stay glued to transworldsurf.com as we'll be right at Snapper once again giving you The Down Under Diaries.—Ryan Brower
Here's our Fantasy Action Sports League picks for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Who do you have on your teams? And if you haven't signed up to play already, what are you waiting for? It's free and you can win cash money!
Editor In Chief Chris Cote
Winner: Andy Irons is gonna come out of the gate and get nuts out at Snapper. He is going to step right up into the Parko/Fanning battle and flip the script.
Rookie: Everybody’s gonna say Owen, but I’m gonna say Simpo.
Shocker: The whole contest will be run at perfect Snapper.
Winner: Carissa Moore is going to rip and give Steph a run and maybe even beat her on her own turf.
Rookie: LeeAnn Curren will style her way into at least the semi’s.
Shocker: The girls will get tubes.
Managing Editor Casey Koteen
Winner: I picked Taj for a few events last year just 'cause I got tired of hearing that either Fanning, Parko, or Slater were going to win. Then I didn't pick him for Pipe and he won that. So I'll get back on that track and say Taj will nab Snapper.
Rookie: Crusty Dusty. Or Pat Gudang. They got there early and have been ripping in the WQS at Burleigh and have some momentum.
Shocker: We'll get a grudge match Fanning/Parko heat again, and it will not disappoint.
Winner: Steph, duh.
Rookie: Carissa, also duh.
Shocker: One of the girls will land a sick air, probably Silvana Lima.
Photo Editor Aaron Checkwood
Winner: Mick. It's weird cause the field seems so wide open, but when it comes down to it the local knowledge will prevail. Think about it, like Sean Holmes at J-Bay, or Adam Robertson at Bells, local wildcards always have that advantage and in this case, Mick, Joel, and Dean are the locals.
Rookie: Owen Wright. I think this wave is a Brett Simpson special and I know it's been unfriendly to goofyfoots, but I gotta stick with my gut feeling and that's Owen Wright—especially if it goes to Duranbah.
Shocker: The judging. I'm curious to see how much the judging really changes. Will a giant punt match up against a succession of turns all the way to Greenmount? That will be the shocker—who this will affect more.
Online Editor Justin Cote
Winner: Parko is gonna show up with a huge chip on his shoulder and start the year off with a win over friend/rival Mick Fanning.
Rookie: Owen Wright is in a class of his own. Easy pick.
Shocker: Slater will show up with a personally-shaped-7-fin-batwing-quadruple-concave-hull-constructed-with-titanium… and lose to someone on a 6'0" thruster.
Winner: Why anyone thinks Stephanie Gilmore won't win this is beyond me.
Rookie: If it's big, look out for LeeAnn Curren.
Shocker: Those waiting for Alana Blanchard to show up in her teenie, tiny bikini will be in for a shocker—she fell off the tour after last year.
Photo Associate Carl Steindler
Winner: Bobby Martinez. Rincon has been epic and Bobby has been owning, perfect training grounds. Plus stylish goofy footers always get better scores from the judges there and with the last goofy winner being Mick “the Keg” Lowe the superbank is due up for some right foot forward action.
Rookie: Nate Yeomans. He’s surfing really well on his backhand and has been at Uppers quite frequently getting prepared. While I don’t think any of the rookies will do extremely well I think Nate will place better than most of the pack.
Shocker: The sand is back!! Viva la Vida.
Winner: Silvana Lima. She’s really explosive with tons of flair and has the ability to get a good score with bad waves.
Rookie: Carissa Moore. She just surfs really good and is no stranger to the CT podium and competition at her young age.
Shocker: Did Alana Blanchard really fall off the tour?
Editorial Associate Ryan Brower
Winner: It's hard not to take Mick or Parko for this one. But watch out for Taj, it's shit or get off the pot for a Title for Mr. Burrow in 2010. If it's get off the pot, he'll be the best habitual second placer ever…
Rookie: Owen Wright's gonna have himself a hell of a year, but Dusty's gonna come out as top rookie on his forehand at Snapper.
Shocker: World Tour rookie Marco Polo from Brazil will find out why his name is so damn funny when the rowdy Aussies start chanting it as he's lost at sea during his first heat…
Winner: Steph Gilmore is not giving into the teens on her home turf.
Rookie: Carissa Moore and LeeAnn Curren are gonna be humiliating some vets.
Shocker: Every tour veteran who realizes their surfing cannot match the likes of Steph, Carissa, Sally, Coco, Sofia, Silvana, and LeeAnn…