COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Thursday, March 12, 2015) – Competition continued today at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ with an action packed day at Snapper Rocks. The Quarterfinalists are set after the opening stop on this year’s Championship Tour (CT) ran through Rounds 3, 4 and 5. The day saw its share of upsets with Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA), John John Florence (HAW) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) all being eliminated from competition in Round 3 at the hands of their lower-seeded opponents.
Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) looked strong throughout the day, first facing Dusty Payne (HAW) in Round 3 where he used his trademark carves to claim a nine-point ride and the top spot. Next he went on to win through Round 4 in a stacked heat against Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) for a place in the Quarterfinals. Beautiful rail work from De Souza almost sent the Australian to Round 5 after the pair tied the heat with 16.50 each, but victory went to Fanning for the highest single-wave score.
“Once you get to these final rounds everyone is ripping,“ said Fanning. “I had a look at the draw last night and thought there was a lot of heats that I didn’t know which way they would go. Everyone on this Tour has the ability to win this event, it’s whoever gets the waves.”
Fanning will face De Souza again in the Quarterfinals, after the Brazilian moved on to dispatch Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in a close Round 5 match-up with a passionate and energetic performance. Wilkinson previously delivered one of the day’s upsets in Round 3, and looked in blistering form as he defeated John John Florence (HAW), eliminating him from the competition.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) was another of the day’s standout performers. He started strong in his highly anticipated Round 3 bout against Kolohe Andino (USA), opening his account with a near-perfect 9.57 and holding the American off with an 8.93 and the day’s highest heat total, 18.50. The progressive Brazilian continued to shine in Round 4 where another nine-point ride helped him dispatch Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Wilkinson to move through to the Quarterfinals where he will face Durbidge.
“I love to surf rights and I’ve been really confident and comfortable,” Toledo said. “The long wait was good for my mind and to figure out my boards. I’ll just keep going and having fun, doing what I loved to do, I’m super stoked. I think this year is going to be a great year for Brazil and for the younger guys on tour.”
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) is out of the competition after being defeated by Glenn Hall (IRL) in Round 3. Hall put the pressure on from the start, holding the lead with five minutes remaining to leave the champion searching for a 6.73 to turn the heat. Medina went for a wave under Hall’s priority causing an interference and losing his second score, ending his chances of making it through to the next round. Medina leaves in equal 13th place.
“It’s great to beat Gabriel,” said Hall. “It was a good heat. The end result was a bit wild with the interference but he was way too close to me for me to be able to get a clean take off. I really like Gabriel and I was legitimately stoked for him last year. He’s passionate in the water and a legend out of the water. We did have words out in the water but it’s nothing personal.”
Brazilian rookies Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) also dealt out big upsets in Round 3 today. Ferreira eliminated 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) while Dantas took down Joel Parkinson (AUS).
Ferreira built on his momentum from Round 2, where he defeated CT veteran Adrian Buchan (AUS), and held the edge over Slater through their heat, completing an explosive rotation for a 7.17. Despite a board change, Slater couldn’t find the waves or the excellent score required to avoid defeat and leaves the first event of the season in 13th place.
“I’m super stoked to make another heat,” Ferreira said. “Kelly is an inspiration for me and he’s a legend. I got a good couple of waves and some good maneuvers so I’m really pleased.”
“I saw fun waves from the beach before I went out there but I couldn’t find them,” said Slater. “I missed one that might have been okay but in hindsight there’s not a whole lot more I could have done. The first year I won the title I came in 31st place in the first event so I’m not too worried. This is just one event and we throw a couple of results away, but even so it’s not good to get off to a start like this.”
Ferreira made it through to Round 5 where he was eventually defeated by two-time Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner Taj Burrow (AUS), who takes his place in the Quarterfinals where he will face Julian Wilson (AUS).
“The rookies are all on fire, they came out so strong,” said Burrow. “I didn’t take Italo lightly at all and I knew he’d be tough. I tried to be really selective and it was a close heat. I’m hoping for a few more feet on the swell tomorrow.”
Dantas held the lead over Parkinson with a 7.67 and a 5.50 for his aggressive backhand attack, whilethe 2012 World Champion was left with just a 3.83 on the board. The local favorite looked out of rhythm while Dantas maintained his composure through the heat against his more experienced opponent, securing his win with an 8.10. This is Parkinson’s worst ever result the Quiksilver Pro, taking home an equal 13th place finish.
“I’m just wanted to surf good today,” said Dantas. “I surfed against Parko who knows this bank and has been surfing here his whole life so I was looking for the bigger waves. I have my confidence from yesterday and I’m feeling good.”
“I had no rhythm and no oppportunity, but that’s just the way it went,” said Parkinson. “I haven’t thought about the next event yet. I think it will be the luckiest surfer here that will win.”
Dantas went on to claim his place in the Quarterfinals after defeating Hall in Round 5 thanks to a 9.17 for a series of powerful maneuvers to leave his opponent in a combination situation. He will face compatriot Miguel Pupo (BRA) in the Quarterfinals tomorrow.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast is webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com.
The world’s best surfing is also broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and the WSL’s new partner in Brazil, Globo TV.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results (1st to R4, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.77
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.77 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9.93
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.60 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.90
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.43 def. Nat Young (USA) 8.94
Heat 6: Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.23 vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.50
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.56 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.00
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.90 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 14.44
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.76 def. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 1.13
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 13.90
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.74
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.83 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.13
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 4 Results (1st to QF, 2nd & 3rd to R5):
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.23, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.47, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.37
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.37, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.13, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.50, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.50
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.83, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.57, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.23
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 5 Results (1st to QF, 2nd=9th):
Heat 1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 17.34 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.33
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.73 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.50
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.94 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.83 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.83
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
QF 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast runs in conjunction with the Roxy Pro.
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)