The new and improved Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has arrived. Fresh graphics, an actual desk for the presenters, head shots of the athletes that don’t look like they just woke up and like all sports a load of adverts between heats, waves, in fact at anytime.
The ASP has arrived in the world of mainstream sport, love it or hate it if competitive surfing is going to grow it needs this to happen. The injection of top end sponsorship from brands like Samsung and GoPro is a much needed addition to the surf industry.
Of course even with new budget and a desk for the hosts, they still couldn’t control mother nature and the surf at Snapper Rocks, whilst contestable has not been anything epic so far. They have however, managed to get through both the first rounds of the Men’s and Women’s event.
Roxy Pro Round 1
There was a lot of speculation that this year was going to be a lot closer on the Women’s tour than ever before, and that the whole top 17 were in with a shout. Well you got to say it’s already looking that way. The rookies pulled off a number of solid performances to leave some of the top seeds having to go into sudden death round two.
Sally Fitzgibbons, Courtney Conlogue and Stephanie Gilmore all lost out in their round one heats. Fitzgibbons and Conlogue were knocked into round two fair and square whilst Gilmore suffered an interference call and was penalised points. Never the less there was an all round raising of the game by the rookies.
However world champion Carissa Moore put on a masterful performance to close out her heat and she goes straight into the third round. Last years world number two, Tyler Wright, also won her heat with something spare. But the field is way more open and it makes for an exciting year.
Quiksilver Pro Round 1
Conditions were a little bigger for the men’s, and they made the most of it. Performance levels for the size of the waves were as always through the roof and the bar has been raised once again for the forthcoming season.
The big winners in the first heat were Joel Parkinson who looks solid at his home break, Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow also looked good, between them they have taken out the last three events held here. Taj is so good out there that he probably wishes the whole tour was held here.
But the standout heat win came from local Josh Kerr, he notched up the heat total of the day. Although now a resident in California, he grew up on the sand points of the Gold Coast and looked like he had never left.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was Mick Fanning getting bumped into the second round, but he was up against an unusually composed and methodical Dane Reynolds. The wildcard looked like he had his contest head well and truly on, which for everyone else has got to be a worry.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.76, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.40, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.17, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.83, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 7.37
Heat 3: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 13.03, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.37, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.04
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.43, Bebe Durbidge (AUS) 13.60, Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.93
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.97, Matt Banting (AUS) 13.67, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.07
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.83, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.20, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.50
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.10, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.63
Heat 8: Nat Young (USA) 13.50, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.17, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 8.30
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.54, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.54, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.50
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67, John John Florence (HAW) 10.10, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.33
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.73, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.54, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.27
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.87, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.50