Slater And Irons Steal The Show in Round 3

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Slater goes to about 11:45 here on his way to easy heat win. Photo: ASP

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A.I. is focused and seeing red as he makes his way through this event. Photo: ASP

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Joel Parkinson, always a favorite at Snapper. Photo: ASP

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Kai has the ?Insight? to make it far in this event, on his back hand none the less. Photo: ASP

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Timmy Reyes shows how they do in Huntington Beach. Photo: ASP

Yesterday, in 2 to 3 foot surf at Snapper Rocks Round 3, of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast got under way. Most of the big names advanced into Round 4, but the two that had the beach a buzz were Irons and Slater, both of whom had less than stellar (for them) 2007 finishes. Yet, both lit up the Super Bank, and in the process had their competitors combo-ed. Irons took out Ben Bourgeois 17.84 to 11.33, and Slater handled Heitor Alves 17.93 to 13.83.

?I guess people are expecting big things out of rookies Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith this year so I?m sure the other surfers are trying to pick up their level to say, ?Hey we?re in this thing too.?? said Slater.

Irons, who stumbled in Round 1 has since recovered, and has cruised through his last two heats.

?When the waves come, there are high scores possible, it?s just a matter of being patient and waiting to make sure you get on them,? Irons said. ?I watched everyone else?s heats and everyone is surfing well, but I just wanted to make sure I took my time, did my own thing and didn?t surf like anyone else.?

Slater has also won his last two heats and is looking great in this event. Although, as far as the rest of the year goes he is not too sure.

?I guess you have to have some sort of plan, but right now I?m sort of floating, figuring out what feels right and I guess I?ll figure it out in the next few weeks,? said Slater. ?At this stage I?m not going to Bells, and if I don?t go to Bells then I?m not sure which will be my next event.?

Behavior and statements like this are up to quota for the mysto man himself, and their are many skeptics out there. One of whom is none other than Andy Irons.

I don?t believe it. I?ll believe it when the first heat goes out and he?s not in it, until then I?ll assume he?s competing in every event because I?ve heard this five times before. As far as I?m concerned I hope he sticks around, he?s a valuable person for the tour and for surfing. I know he does a lot for me, he keeps me motivated and makes me try my hardest, so I hope he doesn?t retire.?

Back to the rest of the event. Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, Jordy Smith, Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison among others have all advanced as well. In a bit of a disappointment rookie sensation Dane Reynolds was knocked out of the event by Morrison. That has left Jordy all by his lonesome as the remaining half of the Rookie Two Headed Media Monster. He took out Boobby Martinez and in the process silenced his critics, this kid may just be the real deal.

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