Taj To Defend Breaka Burleigh Pro Title

Taj Burrow, defending Breaka Burleigh Pro Champion, will lead several ASP World Tour surfers into the ASP 4-Star rated event. Photo courtesy ASP

Taj Burrow, defending Breaka Burleigh Pro Champion, will lead several ASP World Tour surfers into the ASP 4-Star rated event. Photo courtesy ASP

GOLD COAST, Queensland/Australia (Wednesday, February 9, 2011) – Defending Breaka Burleigh Pro champion and current Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World No. 3 rated surfer Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, heads up a quality field of 160 surfers set to enjoy classic point break waves at next week's 2011 ASP 4-Star, US$85,000 Breaka Burleigh Pro.

Burrow enters the 2011 season as a serious ASP World Title contender and he's relishing the opportunity to surf Burleigh Heads once again.

"You can't pass on the opportunity to surf Burleigh with a handful of guys can you? – It has to be one of the best waves on earth," said Burrow.

"I got on a roll at this event last year and it's the perfect warm up after a few months off.

"I'm itching to pull the singlet on again and with all the cyclones that have been spinning off the Goldy this year we could be in for a treat," he said.

Joining Burrow back at Burleigh Heads for the 2011 Breaka Burleigh Pro will be fellow World Tour sparring partners Joel Parkinson (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Pat Gudauskas (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT), Adam Melling (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW) and Julian Wilson (AUS).

The last time Joel Parkinson surfed competitively at Burleigh Heads was an epic round-four showdown with 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater during the 2002 Quiksilver Pro.

Parkinson beat Slater (20.80 to 16.50) in the ASP's previous three-wave scoring system, before going on to win the event for the first time as the finals were relocated back to the primary site of Snapper Rocks.

"I've got pretty good memories of that heat – It's such an epic wave when it's on and right now the sand is right – I'd love to get to surf pumping Burleigh with just three other guys out – It's a pretty rare opportunity" said Parkinson.

Surfing Queensland Chief Executive Officer Scott Gillies highlighted the important role the Breaka Burleigh Pro plays within Queensland.

"Having a highly rated ASP Star-Tour event within Queensland is an important part of Surfing Queensland's complete Development Pathway," said Gillies.

"Queensland athletes particularly have the full spectrum of events available to them as they forge a professional career, from when they first begin as juniors, right through to competing on the elite World Tour," he said.

The 2011 Breaka Burleigh Pro marks the beginning of ASP Australasia's Prime and Star rated tour that will include: The Burton Toyota Pro in Newcastle, Drug Aware Pro (Prime) in Western Australia and The O'Neill Cold Water Classic in New Zealand.

In 2010, Breaka Flavoured Milk returned professional surfing to its spiritual home of Burleigh Heads after almost a 10-year hiatus from the iconic surfing venue.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro is proudly supported by Breaka Flavoured Milk, Surfing Queensland, ASP Australasia, Channel 7, brisbanetimes.com.au, Nova 106.9fm, SEA FM, Ooh!, Coastalwatch, Australia's Surfing Life, GCCC, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, JR Surfboards, 5 and ahalf Sunglasses and Air Asia.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro will be broadcast LIVE via breakaburleighsurfpro.com.au

Daily TV newsfeeds and high quality complimentary digital images along with press releases will be made available throughout the event.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro will commence on February 16 and conclude February 20, 2011.