Quiksilver Pro Update From Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia

Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost Mobile
Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia.
March 1st to 13th

CATCH IT LIVE ON: quiksilver.com; roxy.com; aspworldtour.com

Parkinson Tops Of An ‘A’ Grade Class Australia’s

Joel Parkinson bravely claimed 2005 as his year in the lead up to the Quiksilver Pro Presented By Boost Mobile, and he defiantly produced the maneuvers and scores to back it up in round one of the event in clean 3-4′ conditions at Snapper Rocks today. Snatching the highest scoring wave of the day, the former event winner and last year’s Foster’s Men’s World Championship runner-up wowed both the huge crowds and judges. He was the best of an incredible bunch. Parkinson threw the gauntlet down to fellow Snapper Rocks mate Dean Morrison (Australia), another former Quiksilver Pro winner, and trials winner Shaun Gossman (South Africa), nine minutes into their 30 minute exchange, opening with a 8.33 ride, and looking as much a part of his favorite wave as he ever has.

On the very next wave, Morrison produced some beautiful driving rail turns, making the most of the wave faces that just invited carving, and came up with a 9.27, snatching the lead as well as pole position in the lineup. With only a 6.63 as a later back up, Morrison used his priority.”Deano is a mate, but a pretty tactical man to surf with. He had the inside and held me off on a few good ones, but there was so many good waves that he finally had to take one, and he did

With two and a half minutes left on the clock, Morrison finally took a wave that he thought was good enough to seal the deal. It was a good-looking wave, but only short, and he banked only 6.67. Parkinson’s chance to better his backup of 6.9 had come.

He nailed a massive spray throwing hit to the lip, dropped straight into a quick barrel section, came out to hammer up into the pocket again, and continued on down the line keeping it typically tight and critical. Producing a 9.7 score, Parkinson relegated Morrison to second needing 8.77, whilst Gossman was comboed needing two waves. It’s only round one, but the man had matched his mouth, and there was never any doubt that he could.”I knew there would be a wave over the back of it, because the way the swell is, the second wave always draws, said Snapper Professor Parkinson. “The first one was short, but I knew the second one would draw and be long. It was a perfect Snapper wave, which ran from start to finish, had a barrel in it and heaps of sections to hit all the way to the end. It was unreal. A real Snapper gem!Parkinson was the day’s dux from an all-star lineup which included top shelf performances from Taj Burrow (Australia), reigning world champion Andy Irons (Haw) and six-times world champion Kelly Slater (USA). Burrow was superb, using a full repertoire of stunning gravity defying moves, grabbing the crowd’s attention and the highest heat score of the day with an 8.73 and 9.67 amounting to 18.40 out of a possible 20 points. Taj had to put some nerves aside.

“It’s pretty much my dream conditions so I was out to make the most of it said Taj after his strong win. “I’m sick of being nervous when it’s really good, you know, at this time of year everyone is – first event of the season, and everyone is checking each other out. Just being out there with two others is so good.

World Champ Andy Irons had his share of new-season nerves as well, but copped a major distraction less than hour before his midday match-up with Phil Macdonald (Aus) and Quiksilver wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA).

“I was running down the stairs behind the competitor’s area and there was a tiny little metal hangover on the edge of the step I guess. My thong slipped down it and just caught the edge of my heel, said Andy. “It was pretty clumsy — but I’ll make up for it in my heat. The doctor did a good jobiving me four tight stitches.

He showed no signs of clumsiness in his heat, racking up some major arcing turns off the top, claiming a 9.27 and an 8.67 and leaving Phil Macdonald needing 9.28 and Reynolds combo-ed.

“That cut was kind of a blessing in disguise — it kept my mind off the contest. And just made me surf instead of stressing out. Once you get out there when the waves are so good, you just go into auto-pilot, but prior to the heat I did have the usual start of the year butterflies — kind of nervous and excited at the same time. ” Said Irons.

“It’s so clean, like a wave pool, but with a lot more power obviously, surmised Irons of the conditions. “It really is a world class wave — just so high performance! It’s everything I love about surfing in one wave. “

Six-times world champ Kelly Slater competently matched, and even went beyond the turns from the likes of Parkinson, Burrow and Irons, but except for one wave, he strangely failed to connect through to the inside. He was absolutely pushing the boundaries with bizarre body torque and limitless rail commitment outside.

“I was a little too excited and pushing turns more than I needed to, ” admitted Slater. “I am still trying to work my board out still, and there’s something funny going on with my fins, that I’m trying to sort out. The fin I’m using is not great for out there so I guess I was trying to nurse it and push it at the same time.

“It looked like Parko and Deano were definitely on, and Andy was just right in synch, observed Slater of earlier exchanges. “Taj has got one of the highest scores of the day. He’s really good out here. Fanning is the second last heat of the day and definitely one to watch I reckon.

Brazil’s standouts for the day included Neco Padaratz whose superior wave choice in the by-then cross-shore conditions gave him opportunity to gaff a long rare wall to relegate Aussie duo Mark Occhilupo and Luke Stedman to round two. Peterson Rosa (Brazil) actually started the event with the first wave of the 2005 season, and cut some great lines on the face and in the pit setting a good standard, though Darren O’Rafferty snipped him at heat’s end with 8.33 for two pits connected by some nice solid moves.

Rookie Chris Ward (USA) was in the same opening heat, and characterised both himself, and the adventurous spirit of this year’s new Top 45 intake, by attempting a huge aerial on his very first wave.

Hawaiian Fred Patacchia claimed the second heat of the day for the rookie squad with some vertical backhand, before Australia’s Bede Durbidge did it again for the young guns with some superb barrel-riding in heat four to eclipse a sick 9.5 first scorer from Bruce Irons.

“I thought I got the best waves of the heat, but Bede obviousky did. What can you do? Nothing! Look to the next heat, shrugged the younger Irons after his still impressive 2005 debut.

Durbidge clocked in a six second long barrel on the way to his triumph, hence slotting into top spot for the Evian Longest Tube Award which will be worth $5000 for both the men and women surfers who spend the longest time behind the curtain during the Quiksilver Pro Presented by Boost Mobile.

At the other end of the career and age meter today, Hawaii’s Sunny Garcia was also a heat winner, but candidly not buying any hype about new rookies.

“It’s the same old song and dance for me, said a grinning Garcia. “I was on tour when Kelly and Andy, Bruce — I’ve come thru all the little kids. Hype you can’t always believe. We’ll see. I enjoy being around to surf against these new kids as they come through but I’m not any more excited than I was last year, or the first year I started the tour. Just being here is enough excitement for me.

Despite the sometimes choppy conditions later this afternoon, the boys continued to show their class, with Richie Lovett (Aus), Trent Munro (Aus), Shane Beschen (USA) and Mick Fanning (Aus) all exhibiting some precision carving.

Troy Brooks successfully went barrel hunting, and Marcelo Nunes (Brazil) had some big backhand hits, yielding an eight point wave one third into his heat 15, holding the highly fancied Fanning off the lead.

Wearing a contest jersey for the first time since his major hamstring injury last July, Fanning came back into the game with just four minutes remaining. After length of ride had formerly evaded him, he typically linked fast flowing moves to slate a 7.17, which he swiftly supported with a 6.73.

“It was just tricky out there, said Fanning, voicing the frustrations of the afternoon shift. “I took waves I thought would be good that were rubbish, and kept getting frustrated. In the end I just had to relax. I finally sat a little wider and picked up a couple of reasonable ones there at the end.

The Quiksilver Pro Presented by Boost Mobile, and the Roxy Pro Presented by Boost Mobile, are both made possible by the support of the Gold Coast City Council. Both tournaments will feature the specialty awards made possible by co-sponsor Evian. The Evian Longest Tube Ride is worth $5000 for the winning male and female surfer to slot into the longest Gold Coast barrel of the tournament. Timekeepers will be keeping their eyes on their stopwatches.

From Paul Sargeant

ROUND ONE (1st > Round 3; 2nd and 3rd to Round 2)
H1: Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 15.83; Chris Ward (USA) 15.06; Peterson Rosa (BRZ) 12.67
H2: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.60; Raoni Monteiro (BRZ) 12.76; Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.43
H3: Sunny Garcia (HAW) 15.54; Lee Winkler (AUS) 14.37; Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.00
H4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.10; Bruce Irons (HAW) 17.67; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.27
H5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.40; Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 12.70; Taylor Knox (USA) 12.00
H6: Luke Egan (AUS) 15.83; Renan Rocha (BRZ) 13.83 ; Tim Curran (USA) 10.27
H7: C.J.Hobgood (USA) 16.50; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.70; Victor Ribas (BRZ) 10.17
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) 17.94; Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 15.17; Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.00
H9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.03; Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.94; Shaun Gossman (ZAF) 11.44
H10: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.07; Paulo Moura (BRZ) 16.08; Luke Munro (AUS) 10.43
H11: Richie Lovett (AUS) 15.17; Tim Reyes (USA) 12.73; Jake Paterson (AUS) 12.60
H12: Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 15.17; Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 14.33; Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.00
H13: Trent Munro (AUS) 13.50; Michael Lowe (AUS) 13.16; Shea Lopez (USA) 9.27
H14: Troy Brooks (AUS) 16.06; Greg Emslie (ZAF) 11.23; Corey Lopez (USA) 7.23;
H15: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.90; Marcelo Nunes (BRZ) 12.83; Kalani Robb (HAW) 9.87
H16: Shane Beschen (USA) 15.07; Daniel Wills (AUS) 14.70; Toby Martin (AUS) 11.27

EVIAN LONGEST TUBE AWARD
WOMEN: Claire Bevilacqua R1 H2 (4.0 secs)
MEN: Bede Durbidge R1 H4 (6.0 secs)
Bruce Irons R1 H4 (5.5 secs)
Bruce Irons R1 H4 (4.0 secs)
Darren O’Rafferty R1 H1 (3.0 secs)ully went barrel hunting, and Marcelo Nunes (Brazil) had some big backhand hits, yielding an eight point wave one third into his heat 15, holding the highly fancied Fanning off the lead.

Wearing a contest jersey for the first time since his major hamstring injury last July, Fanning came back into the game with just four minutes remaining. After length of ride had formerly evaded him, he typically linked fast flowing moves to slate a 7.17, which he swiftly supported with a 6.73.

“It was just tricky out there, said Fanning, voicing the frustrations of the afternoon shift. “I took waves I thought would be good that were rubbish, and kept getting frustrated. In the end I just had to relax. I finally sat a little wider and picked up a couple of reasonable ones there at the end.

The Quiksilver Pro Presented by Boost Mobile, and the Roxy Pro Presented by Boost Mobile, are both made possible by the support of the Gold Coast City Council. Both tournaments will feature the specialty awards made possible by co-sponsor Evian. The Evian Longest Tube Ride is worth $5000 for the winning male and female surfer to slot into the longest Gold Coast barrel of the tournament. Timekeepers will be keeping their eyes on their stopwatches.

From Paul Sargeant

ROUND ONE (1st > Round 3; 2nd and 3rd to Round 2)
H1: Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 15.83; Chris Ward (USA) 15.06; Peterson Rosa (BRZ) 12.67
H2: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.60; Raoni Monteiro (BRZ) 12.76; Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.43
H3: Sunny Garcia (HAW) 15.54; Lee Winkler (AUS) 14.37; Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.00
H4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.10; Bruce Irons (HAW) 17.67; Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.27
H5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.40; Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 12.70; Taylor Knox (USA) 12.00
H6: Luke Egan (AUS) 15.83; Renan Rocha (BRZ) 13.83 ; Tim Curran (USA) 10.27
H7: C.J.Hobgood (USA) 16.50; Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.70; Victor Ribas (BRZ) 10.17
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) 17.94; Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 15.17; Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.00
H9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.03; Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.94; Shaun Gossman (ZAF) 11.44
H10: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.07; Paulo Moura (BRZ) 16.08; Luke Munro (AUS) 10.43
H11: Richie Lovett (AUS) 15.17; Tim Reyes (USA) 12.73; Jake Paterson (AUS) 12.60
H12: Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 15.17; Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 14.33; Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.00
H13: Trent Munro (AUS) 13.50; Michael Lowe (AUS) 13.16; Shea Lopez (USA) 9.27
H14: Troy Brooks (AUS) 16.06; Greg Emslie (ZAF) 11.23; Corey Lopez (USA) 7.23;
H15: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.90; Marcelo Nunes (BRZ) 12.83; Kalani Robb (HAW) 9.87
H16: Shane Beschen (USA) 15.07; Daniel Wills (AUS) 14.70; Toby Martin (AUS) 11.27

EVIAN LONGEST TUBE AWARD
WOMEN: Claire Bevilacqua R1 H2 (4.0 secs)
MEN: Bede Durbidge R1 H4 (6.0 secs)
Bruce Irons R1 H4 (5.5 secs)
Bruce Irons R1 H4 (4.0 secs)
Darren O’Rafferty R1 H1 (3.0 secs)