The first official world tour event of the year finished off with a surprising twist to an otherwise uneventful contest. Snapperâ€™s crumbly, mushy conditions last week hardly made for a great show and after three lay days, the contest finally saw itâ€™s end on Saturday.
Australian high-flyer Taj Burrow and Australiaâ€™s sweetheart Stephanie Gilmore both took home first place in the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks putting them both in the lead position for the world title race.
Burrow defeated Brazilian powerhouse Adriano De Souza by .27 of a point! This final heat was the highlight of the whole contest, not including Joel Parkinsonâ€™s perfect 10-point wave. De Souza punted away with a big air reverse on his first wave, garnering him an 8-point ride.
â€œToday when I found myself against Adriano (De Souza), I was really nervous because he got me in a Final in Brazil last year,â€ Burrow said in an ASP interview. â€œHe’s really tough and I don’t like competing against him to be honest. There was a lot of weight on my shoulders in that final so it’s pretty rewarding to come out on top.”
De Souza took most of the waves in the heat, throwing up 5-pointers before Burrow even answers back. Burrowâ€™s first wave was a minor, but he finally found his rhythm as he hacked into a growing wave and rode out of a strong grab-rail reverse. The judges awarded him a 9.43, anchoring him in this heat.
Burrow easily got out of a combination situation and took the lead by scoring a decent 6.43 on his third wave. To answer back, De Souza mustered a big inverted frontside grab, which could have easily topped Burrows. Instead, the judges underscored De Souza with a 7.60, giving Burrow the win.
In the Roxy Pro final, Gilmore took the win from fellow Australian tour sophomore Laura Enever. Both women surfed fearless, but Gilmore controlled the heat and came out on top, solidifying her comeback early this year.
The beginning of the contest left much to be desired. Tour newcomers Kolohe Andino (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) fell short of expectations as they were eliminated early in Round 3 against De Souza and top seed Adrian Buchan. Here’s to hoping they find their footing early this year and light up the tour. Kelly Slater (USA) was taken out in the quarters, which is unusual for him, considering he won this competition last year and is familiar with the undesirably fickle conditions.
Hereâ€™s to hoping the rest of the year isnâ€™t as boring as this contest. The next stop on the ASP World Tour is the Ripcurl Pro Bells Beach. The waiting period begins April 3.
Here are the official results from the event.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST FINAL RESULTS:
1 â€“Â Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.86
2 â€“Â Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.60
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1:Â Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.16 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.57
SF 2:Â Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.56 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.20
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1:Â Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.43 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.73
QF 2:Â Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.43 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.04
QF 3:Â Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.56 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.30
QF 4:Â Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.86 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.97
CURRENT ASP TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast):
1.Â Taj Burrow (AUS) 10,000 pts
2.Â Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8,000 pts
3.Â Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,500 pts
3.Â Josh Kerr (AUS) 6,500 pts
5.Â Kelly Slater (USA) 5,200 pts
5.Â Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5,200 pts
5.Â Owen Wright (AUS) 5,200 pts
5.Â Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5,200 pts
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST FINAL RESULTS:
1 â€“Â Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.37
2 â€“Â Laura Enever (AUS) 14.20
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1:Â Laura Enever (AUS) 16.70 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.17
SF 2:Â Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.30 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.00
CURRENT ASP WOMENâ€™S TOP 3 (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast):
1.Â Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10,000 pts
2.Â Laura Enever (AUS) 8,000 pts
3.Â Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,500 pts
3.Â Tyler Wright (AUS) 6,500 pts