Quiksilver Pro At Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia Update

Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost Mobile
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
Foster’s Men’s World Championship Tour (WCT)
Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia
March 1st – 13th, 2005

Watch it Live on:
quiksilver.com aspworldtour.com

Hawaiian World Champion Draws brother in round 4 of Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost Mobile.
Event climax anticipated tomorrow.

Monday, March 07, 2005 (Snapper Rocks, Queensland, Australia): IT will be a case of two Irons in the fire when reigning three-times world champion Andy Irons and his talented younger brother Bruce clash in a hotly anticipated fourth round encounter at the Quiksilver Pro Presentedby Boost Mobile at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.

Stoking the surfing cauldron that is the season-opening Foster’s Men’s World Championship Tour event, the Irons siblings were in white-hot form today to blitz their third round opponents and move an ominous step closer towards the final.

It will be only the third time the fiercely competitive Hawaiian brothers have met on the WCT, with the winning tally dead even at one apiece.

Bruce, 25, beat Andy, 26, in a heat of the Boost Mobile Pro Presented by Quiksilver at Trestles in California in 2003 before Andy levelled the score in an epic final of the Quiksilver Pro at Hossegor, France, last year in booming 3m waves.

Bruce and Andy easily accounted for Taylor Knox (USA) and local wildcard Luke Munro (Aus) today in their respective round three heats to set up the sibling showdown likely to take place tomorrow.

The triple world champion was brutal in his demolition of Munro, top-scoring for the day with 18.07 points out of a possible 20 and leaving his opponent in need of a two-wave scoring combination.

Bruce also ‘comboed’ Knox to set the scene for a titanic clash with his elder brother.

“He got one on me at Trestles and I beat him in France so this will be the tie-breaker,” Andy said. “I’m going to enjoy every second of it – me and my brother out at Snapper, it should be awesome.”

Bruce commented: “It’ll be good (taking on Andy) but I’d rather be facing Luke (Munro).”

Mick Fanning (Aus) continued his impressive comeback from injury with a crushing victory over veteran former world champion Sunny Garcia (Haw).

Fanning, who missed most of last season after tearing his hamstring from the bone in a horror wipeout in Indonesia, is back on the WCT thanks to an ASP injury wildcard.

He showed he is back to his potent best with a devastating display of speed surfing at his home break. Fanning scored 17.77 points to leave Garcia in his wake on 5.67 points, in need of a two-wave scoring combination.

“I’ve got heaps of respect for Sunny – ever since I was a kid, I just loved his surfing,” Fanning said.

“Lucky for me he didn’t to get any really good ones. It’s just good to be surfing again and good to get another heat out of the way.”

But Fanning, the only ‘Coolangatta Kid’ not to have won the Quiksilver Pro, was not getting too far ahead of himself in his quest to have his name inscribed alongside good mates Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison on the championship trophy.

“It’s always good to win, especially at home, but I’m just going out there and taking it heat by heat,” said Fanning, who now meets Damien Hobgood (USA) in Round 4.

Hobgood and identical twin C.J proved double trouble for their third round opponents, Damien easily accounting for former World No.2 Shane Beschen (USA) and C.J doing likewise against South African tour debutant Travis Logie.

“I was super-stoked top get a couple of waves but man, it was bad out there,” C.J Hobgood observed of the tricky conditions.

“I’m stoked to get through though – I hate to lose – but there’s just not many good waves.”

Hawaiian rookie Fred Patacchia caused a boil-over in the first heat of the day when he took down World No.5, tour veteran and Gold Coast local Luke Egan.

“I’m psyched, this is my first CT event and I’m in the round before the quarters and I’m just really amped – stoked to be here,” enthused 23-year-old Patacchia, a new-generation Hawaiian pro who qualified for this year’s WCT in 40th place.

“It was really nerve-wracking – Egan surf’s really well but there just wasn’t that many waves and I just got the better ones.”

In other results, 2002 Quiksilver Pro champion Joel Parkinson continued his campaign to win dual titles with a comfortable win over Brazil’s Victor Ribas.

Six-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) was forced to dig deep to defeat local hero, WCT rookie Bede Durbidge (Aus), who was cheered on by a parochial home crowd packing the beach and Snapper Rocks Surf Club sundeck.

Slater unleashed a gravity-defying floater on one wave on his way to a 17.53 to 14.20-point victory over Durbidge.

Competition is expected to climax in the US$270,000 tournament tomorrow with $30,000 up for grabs for the winner and an all-important early ratings lead in the race for the 2005 world title. The surf forecast isexcellent with a three-to-foot southerly swell and offshore winds prevailing.

Bruce Irons still holds the lead in the “Evian Longest Tuberide” specialty award for locking into the longest barrel of the event thus far, a seven second tube ride that earned him an 8.83 and the front-running for the $5,000 bonus Evian check.

The Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost Mobile is proudly supported by the Gold Coast City Council. In 2004 the tournament(s) was awarded Gold Coast Sporting Event of the Year.

Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost Mobile
Rnd 3 results (1st>Rnd 4, 2nd=17th, 410 pts, $US4,500):
H1: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 14.26 def Luke Egan (AUS) 11.77
H2: Trent Munro (Aus) 14.94 def Dan Wills (Aus) 9.10
H3: Phil MacDonald (Aus) 12.70 def Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.46
H4: CJ Hobgood (USA) 15.43 Travis Logie (ZAF) 7.36
H5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.77 def Sunny Garcia (HAW) 5.67
H6: Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.74 def Shane Beschen (USA) 9.00
H7: Bruce Irons (Haw) 16.50 def Taylor Knox (USA) 8.60
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) 18.07 def Luke Munro (AUS) 9.34
H9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.54 def Victor Ribas (BRZ) 11.40
H10: Tom Whittaker (AUS) 14.00 def Darren O’Rafferty (Aus) 7.30
H11: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.20 def Greg Emslie (ZAF) 13.56
H12: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) Marcelo Nunes (BRA)
H13: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.53 def Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.20
H14: Richard Lovett (Aus) 14.27 def Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.40
H15: Taj Burrow (AUS) v Chris Ward (USA)
H16: Michael Lowe (AUS) v Troy Brooks (AUS)

Quiksilver Pro presented by Boost MobileUpcoming Rnd 4 heats (1st>1/4 finals, 2nd= 9th, 600pts, US$5,300)
H1: Fred Patacchia (HAW) v Trent Munro (AUS)
H2: Phil MacDonald (AUS) v C.J. Hobgood (USA)
H3: Mick Fanning (AUS) v Damien Hobgood (USA)
H4: Bruce Irons (HAW) v Andy Irons (HAW)
H5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) v Tom Whittaker (AUS)
H6: Nathan Hedge (AUS) v Mark Occhilupo (AUS)