Injured Ziems to Contest Quiksilver Pro Trials; Sixteen Surfers to Vie for Lone Remaining Wildcard
Despite a back breaking wipeout at the Banzai Pipeline last December, Gold Coast surfer Corey Ziems (Currumbin Alley, AUS) has confirmed he will be contesting the Quiksilver Pro Trials at Snapper Rocks on
The 25 year-old, has just only returned to the water after incurring a compound fracture to his L1 vertebrae late last year.
The horrific accident saw Ziems rushed to Honolulu Hospital by ambulance before being wheel-chaired onto a flight back to Australia a few days later.
“When I saw the wave closing out I dove forward into the barrel, the wave grabbed me and spun me around. As I landed it felt like there was no water under me at all and I was on bare reef. I felt the crunch of my spine and immediately grabbed at my feet to make sure I could still feel them,” said Ziems.
The popular surfer who has undergone weeks of physiotherapy and bed-rest secured his position in the Quiksilver Pro Trials by winning the hard fought 2008 Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC). The winner
of the 16 man trials will face off against one of the worlds top three ranked surfers in the season-opening ASP men’s world tour event, the Quiksilver Pro presented by LG.
“My main aim of going in the QCC last year was to qualify for the trials. It’d be amazing to make the main event. I still have some time (before the trials) but I am definitely competing,” said Ziems.
“I’m only just back in the water and I’m surfing at fifty or sixty per cent but that’s to be expected.”
“I may be a little bit shorter now as my vertebrae is 30 per cent smaller but I have healed super fast and I’m really lucky with how everything has turned out,” added Ziems.
Ziems who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the elite ASP men’s world tour in 2006 will go up against a class international field for the third and final Quiksilver Pro wildcard.
Fellow Queenslanders Jack Freestone (Coolangatta), Snapper Rocks Boardrider Luke Dorrington, 2007 Quiksilver trials winner Dale Richards (Tweed Heads, NSW), Quiksilver Trials for Trials winner Blake Wilson (Maroochydore) and dual trials winner Shaun Gossman (Burleigh Heads) are all included in the line-up.
Also hoping to pit themselves against the world best at one of Australia’s best known point breaks will be Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, AUS), Craig Anderson (Newcastle, AUS), Hawaiian hot -shot Kiron Jabour, multiple NSW junior champion Chris Salisbury (Avalon, AUS), ‘Quiksilver King of the Groms’ Maxime Huschenot (REU), Quiksilver ISA world junior champion Alejo Muniz (BRZ), Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Heads, AUS), Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay, AUS), QCC runner-up Matt Jones (Yamba, AUS) and Australasia’s highest non-qualifying WQS surfer Yadin Nichols (Margaret River, AUS).
The two main event wildcards have been awarded to Sunshine Coast surfing sensation Julian Wilson, 20, (Coolum, AUS) and recently retired ASP world tour competitor Danny Wills (Byron Bay, AUS).
Nine-time world champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) is just one of many elite surfers who have felt the heat from wildcards in previous Quiksilver Pro presented by LG events.
The Quiksilver Pro Trials will be staged in conjunction with the Roxy Pro Trials on Friday, February 27th. The winner from each trials event will be granted a wildcard into the main events.
The season-opening ASP women’s world tour event the US$90,000 Roxy Pro presented by LG and the opening men’s world tour event, the US $340,000 Quiksilver Pro presented by LG will commence on Saturday
February 28th and run through to March 11th.
Both opening world tour events are mobile, granting access to some of the best surf breaks on the planet. The tournament will be based at Snapper Rocks yet can travel from Stradbroke Island to Duranbah Beach
on the Qld/NSW state border in search of optimum waves.