Here's the latest from Ace. Check out his GOLD COAST CRIB blog too

All photos by Ian Buchan, Ace's dad. Captions by Quirin.

Adrian stayed in Bells with the Powell family, a well known Torquay surfing family. Their sons Steph, Sam and Jamie are in the Torquay Boardriders Club. Adrian has stayed with them often over the last 10 years after the Buchan's and the Powell's linked up in Bali many moons ago. They live in a stone house in a bush setting off Bells Boulevarde, which is the main drag from Torquay to Bells. The house is only 2 km from Bells but a perfect place to relax away from the circus. Do we spot a nice bit of German engineering in the foreground?

A good wax job is half the work. Ace is quite the contrary to Occy, who, legend has it, waxes his board once and then never takes the wax off again. If you remember from the Snapper crib blog how many boards Ace has, you can imagine how much time he spends waxing them. And there's definitely a fair amount of wax bars involved. If you're interested, Ace only uses Sex Wax. And if I say only, I mean only.

Not much has changed in his physical preparation. Even though his trainer didn't make it to Bells, Ace did his program every day. Oh, actually something has changed. The ball has changed color from red to blue...

More training in family Powell's garden. Rotation, it's all about rotation...

Looking at the size of the chin, this has to be Jay "Bottle" Thompson. Ha ha ha, he might kill me for that the next time he sees me. Bottle collected an equal 9th place, eliminating Taj Burrow along the way. Bottle has been Ace's travel partner for many years. Bottle is not on the 2009 WT but being the first replacement and with Luke Steadman injured, he's already surfed two events this year. Oh, I'm pretty sure Ace beat Bottle in this ping pong match.

Flora and fauna around the Powell house.

From left to right: Jay "Bottle" Thompson, Ace, Michael and Sam Powell.

Finally the second round got underway. Adrian had to wait for over a week to surf his first heat. It must be pretty hard to keep the tension up for so long. This shot was taken during his morning heat against Dean Morrisson, which he unfortunately lost.

So after waiting all this time, Ace was off packing his bags after only one heat surfed. At least he was seeded into round two but he definitely had no 17th on his mind going into the event...

However, there's always friends to cheer you up. This shot was taken on the way back from a semi-secret spot. The spot is very tidal and requires a boot and then jet ski assist... Ace, his dad and the Powell family got lucky and the spot turned on for 2 hours. And Ace has more to keep him in a good mood because he's off to Tavarua tonight to get ready for the next event, the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Until then...