Photo: [Copyright: JAMES KENWORTHY/NIKE 6.0] 2009 Dream Tour rookie Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 23, taking off on a warm-up surf during Day 4 of the waiting period of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Mobile
With the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Mobile being called off for the fourth consecutive day due to inconsistent surf, the 2009 ASP World Tour European surfers have been driving around to other locations. Dream Tour rookies Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) and Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF) drove an hour South from Coolangatta’s Superbank and enjoyed some good three foot (one meter) waves at Ballina for a training session filmed by their trainer.
“It was fun there, it’s good to be able to find some better waves than Snappers or D-Bah when the swell is that small,” Boal said. “Snappers was barely breaking yesterday and D-Bah is just packed.”
Boal, who was one of three rookies to win his heat in Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast last Saturday, will have to wait another day at least before Round 3 resumes. The Frenchman from Anglet, 25, came up with solid surfing for his opening battle on the 2009 Dream Tour against former ASP Rookie of the Year Fred Patacchia (Oahu, HAW) and veteran Mick Campbell (New South Wales, AUS).
Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA) and Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) who were the two other Europeans to advance straight to Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, have been chilling the last few days, Flores enjoying the time off to leave his injured ankle at rest. Pires, who requalifed for this year’s ASP World Tour throught the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), is expected by many to shine in 2009. Talented tube rider, powerful surfer respected by his peers, Pires will try and use his righthand point break experience to start off the season with a keeper at Snapper Rocks.
“It’s my second year on tour and I feel a bit more confident, relaxed and mature,” Pires said. “[We had] a good first day but we have five more days to go so it’s still a long way but so far so good.”
Four of the 7-man contingent will soon paddle out for their Round 2 match-ups as the forecast shows a possible start for tomorrow Thursday, March 5. Miky Picon (Capbreton, FRA), last year’s ASP World Tour No. 21, was relegated to Round 2 on Day 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after finishing third in his heat and will meet Chris Davidson (AUS) when competition resumes.
Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK), who was awarded a wildcard for this year’s ASP World Tour by the World Professional Surfers (WPS), the surfers’ union, failed to avoid the second round as well and will have a tough battle against former ASP World Champion CJ Hobgood (Florida, USA) when Heat 3 of Round 2 starts. Aranburu, who finished the year with a promissing equal 9th in the Billabong Pipeline Masters last December after almost six months of injuries, is looking forward to showing he is back with hunger. The first Basque surfer ever to join the ranks of the ASP Top 45 last year will have nothing to lose against Hobgood.
UPCOMING EUROPEANS’ ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS
Heat 3: CJ Hobgood (USA) Vs Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) Vs Marlon Lipke (DEU)
Heat 11: Dayyan Neve (AUS) Vs Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 12: Michael Picon (FRA) Vs Chris Davidson (AUS