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Upsets and Underdogs Dominate Proceedings at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

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Caption: Tiago Pires (PRT) wins in Round 2 of the 2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ
Image: ASP/Kelly Cestari


COOLANGATTA, QLD, Australia – Monday, March 3, 2014: The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ, stop No. 1 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, was called ON today for Round 2 in two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves. Everything was on the line as the surfers hit the water for the first elimination round of the 2014 season. There were tricky conditions, with winners advancing into Round 3 and losers sent packing with an equal 25th place finish.

Mick Fanning (AUS), reigning three-time ASP World Champion easily dispatched trials winner Matt Banting in a one-sided heat. Fanning found his competitive gear, used his wave priority perfectly, and unloaded multiple trademark in-the-pocket snaps. Banting showed flashes of potential, but was unable to put a complete wave together, finishing the heat with a pair of 4-point-rides to Fanning’s 6.17 and 7.50 (out of a possible 10).

Mick Fanning – “A second-round loss is not a great way to start the year, so I just wanted to go out there and push myself and hopefully come out on top,” Fanning said. “I’ve been feeling pretty relaxed, I know my surfing’s there it is just a matter of getting the waves. In tricky conditions like this that’s what plays on my mind the most, not being able to get the waves. Matt (Banting) is a great surfer and a great kid with a huge future. Just because they’ve got a wildcard next to their name doesn’t mean they are any less of a threat. I just wanted to go out and do the job, and another heat under the belt sort of calms the nerves a little.” 

Tiago Pires (PRT) scored a spot on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour when he was awarded an injury wildcard after missing most of the 2013 season with a knee injury. Today Pires proved his injury hasn’t slowed him down and that he can still mix it with the best after he eliminated the Quiksilver Pro No. 4 seed Jordy Smith (ZAF).

Tiago Pires – “I feel good,” Pires said. “A little bit nervous for this event. It’s almost eight months since I’ve been competing and it’s the big league and there’s a bit of anxiety going on. I was just happy because yesterday I was a bit frustrated with my performance. I think I sat too much waiting for waves. I wanted to change that mood and keep active and catching a lot of waves and it worked out in that one.”

Jordy Smith – “It (the competition) can be cruel at times, but it can also give you the greatest thrill of your life,” Smith said. “In the heat before me it was super consistent and around the five minute mark of our heat there was a few waves, but after that it switched off. I had two mid-range scores, and I waited for the next one for 16 minutes and it never came. I feel like my surfing was on point, but the ocean didn’t deliver. Today wasn’t my day. You have to move on.”

Dion Atkinson (AUS) faced 2013 Breakthrough Performer, Kai Otton (AUS) in Round 2. The Heat saw the Australians exchange a series of mid-range scores to kick off the battle. However, it was the rookie, Atkinson, who turned heads with a massive frontside snap to a powerful carve combination for an excellent 8.00 score. He maintained his composure, dismantling an additional set wave for a second 8-point ride, to take his first career World Championship Tour heat win.

Dion Atkinson – “There are some good waves to be had and I feel like my surfing is part hunger and part raw power. I just try to get the waves that show that, it’s just fun to show what I can do,” Atkinson said. “I feel like these guys (Tour veterans) are the favorites, but I’ve been around the block a few times and have surfed against them quite a bit. I know how to surf a Heat so I’m just stoked to finally be in this league where it’s just man-on-man with priority. You just pick your waves and do your surfing and hopefully come out on top.”

Travis Logie (ZAF) took out John John Florence (HAW) despite the Hawaiian’s attempts at dynamic aerials and fin-free maneuvers. The dropping tide and lower wave frequency meant that strategy played an important part in Round 2 Heat 5 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Logie’s commitment to a powerful backhand approach netted him the win and the heat high single-wave score of 8.77.

Travis Logie – “I kind of get weird when I’m the favorite,” Logie said. “That’s when I get nervous, but I actually love coming up against the big names, bring it on. There were a lot of waves out there, so I knew that if it got to the last few minutes I could get a small score, but I really wanted to wait for a good one. So I just tried to maintain priority as long as possible until it came and it all worked out.”

Adriano de Souza (BRA), World Title threat, took on the European talent, Artiz Aranburu (ESP). Round 2 saw the two natural footers battle neck and neck through most of the Heat. The Brazilian’s patience saw him lock in to the best waves of the heat, allowing him to display his full repertoire at Snapper Rocks. Aranburu answered with some promising rides of his own but was unable to achieve the score needed for the win.

Adriano de Souza – “Fortunately the wave I picked was better then his (Aranburu)”, De Souza said. “I feel like the set helped me let that happen and get the high score I needed, despite the tough conditions. I’m sure better conditions could have seen different results.” 

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1
: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.67 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 9.17
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.67
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.56 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 9.00
Heat 4: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 16.23 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 7.00
Heat 5: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.77 def. John John Florence (HAW) 7.20
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.85 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 6.57
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.17 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.17
Heat 8: Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.76 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.83

Upcoming Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 9: Sebastian Zeitz (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 11: Bebe Durbidge (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Laura Enever (AUS)

Images from the event are available from Getty Images via this link. In addition a small number of hand-out images, as well as daily news feeds, will be made available for editorial use via our email distribution lists. Please contact  kscholtz@aspworldtour.com (images) and  srobertson@aspworldtour.com (news feeds) to be added to the lists.

The first stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ, is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com. The event is also broadcast live on Fuel TV in Australia.

Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 6.30am local time (AEST).

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