Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Samsung was full of upsets after the ASP Foster’s 45 did battle in the three to four foot (1 to 1.2 metre) surf at Snapper Rocks today, March 1st 2007.
Julian Wilson (AUS - pictured below), who gained entry into the Quiksilver Pro as a wildcard, wasted little time in his inaugural opportunity against the world’s best, scoring a sensational upset in defeating reigning and eight-time Foster’s ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater (USA).
“I’m stoked – I have never surfed in a big comp like this before and my expectations weren’t this high," Wilson said. “I’m trying to keep them high, but it’s pretty hard when you’re looking into a lineup like the one I have ahead of me. I’m just taking it one step at a time and hopefully I’ll do all right." Slater, who is the defending Quiksilver Pro champion, was relegated to Round 2 while Wilson has been seeded directly into Round 3.
“Julian is a good surfer – he is one of those guys who you’ve started to hear about in the last two/three years and he has the talent," Slater said. “He is one of those guys who comes from a free surfing background but he is starting to develop into a good contest surfer – obviously, he won that heat."
Slater will next meet 19-year-old local wildcard Dale Richards (AUS), who alongside former three-time Foster’s ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), was sent to Round 2 at the hands of South African Greg Emslie.
“I get Dale Richards now who obviously knows the wave real well," Slater said. “He hasn’t had the chance to surf these events before so we’ll see if he can get himself real calm and just focus on what he is doing. If he doesn’t get too distracted, he could do real well." Richards (pictured below) won the Quiksilver Pro trials to earn main event entry and, in doing so, has become the first-ever indigenous Australian in a Foster’s ASP World Tour event.
“I guess I am the first indigenous surfer to make it one of these events so I feel real privileged to be that surfer," Richards said. “I’ve actually never really thought about competing against Slater, but I’m looking forward to it now, definitely. I’ve just seen him in the movies and watched his first heat, that’s all."
Taj Burrow (AUS) was the third of the Top 5 seeded Foster’s 45 surfers failing to advance straight through to Round 3 today. Although netting an impressive 9.27 out of a possible 10 for a beautiful series of carves and aerials, it was too little too late and he will have to battle his way out of the elimination Round 2.
Mick Fanning (AUS), No.3 seed in the Quiksilver Pro, led a local charge today that saw Gold Coast surfers Joel Parkinson (AUS), Dean Morrison (AUS) and rookie sensation Josh Kerr (AUS) advance through their respective heats straight into Round 3. Bobby Martinez (USA), 2006 Foster’s ASP World Tour Rookie of the Year, is proving just as dangerous in 2007 – netting the day’s high heat score 17.90 out of a possible 20.
“This is a bonus to skip a round," Martinez said. “It’s nice because then you get to have a day off and you don’t have to worry about the 33rd round which is never any fun. Last year I was just trying to requalify and that’s what I am going to do again this year. I’m not trying to get ahead of myself. I’m just taking it heat by heat."
Of the 10 new faces on the 2007 Foster’s ASP World Tour, six advanced straight to Round 3 today – Leonardo Neves (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Ben Dunn (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Ricky Basnett (ZAF) among them. Event organizers are expecting an increase in swell size over the next few days due to a cyclone off of the Northern Queensland coast. Next call will be 6am tomorrow.
Quiksilver Pro Round 1 Results: 1st advances to Round 3; 2nd and 3rd surf Round 2
Heat 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.52, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 12.46, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 9.97
Heat 3: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 14.17, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.77, Luke Stedman (AUS) 10.50
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.34, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.00, Michael Lowe (AUS) 8.73
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.50, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.46, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.46
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) 17.90, Luke Munro (AUS) 15.66, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 14.97
Heat 7: Trent Munro (AUS) 14.93, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.50, Chris Ward (USA)8.34
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.40, Kelly Slater (USA) 11.93, Daniel Wills (AUS) 8.20
Heat 9: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 14.40, Andy Irons (HAW) 12.86, Dale Richards (AUS) 10.33
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.83, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.83, Jake Paterson (AUS) 8.47
Heat 11: Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.73, Cory Lopez (USA) 12.50, Victor Ribas (BRA) 12.17
Heat 12: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.33, Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 13.07, Troy Brooks (AUS) 8.90
Heat 13: Raoni Moneteiro (BRA) 14.76, Bruce Irons (HAW) 13.34, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 13.17
Heat 14: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.10, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 11.50, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.92
Heat 15: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 7.13, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 5.60
Heat 16: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 13.40, Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.13, Michael Campbell (AUS) 11.77