Five things we learnt from the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast today
Words by Elliot Struck | Photos by Simon Muirhead That horizon still just will not play ball. But commish Perrow had no other choices today, except to complete round two of the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast in conditions that were, to wildly understate it, difficult. Still, we learnt some things. Here’s five bucks: See that Q […]
Words by Elliot Struck | Photos by Simon Muirhead
That horizon still just will not play ball. But commish Perrow had no other choices today, except to complete round two of the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast in conditions that were, to wildly understate it, difficult. Still, we learnt some things. Here’s five bucks:
See that Q on Kolohe’s board? It signifies the QS, aka the grindiest place on Earth.
The Grind is always still real.
Today was all about the grind. From first heat in the clean morning conditions to very last heat in chopped-up windblown conditions, the one constant was a severe lack of swell, and the need to find an extra 10 percent of grovelling power. No doubt there were a lot of competitors having an internal monologue that went something like: “I thought I struggled through the QS so I wouldn’t have to deal with this shit.” The lighter builds were the winners today, as were those who pay great attention to cultivating a strong small-wave game. That’s why…
Filipe, a true gift to the webcast gods and one of today’s saviours.
Filipe Toledo and Kolohe Andino were the standouts.
Filipe, with an 8.27 and 8.20, beat Adam Melling (who was sporting a blank nose on his board – goodbye, Oakley). Filly surfed like a bouncy ball. “I feel really excited,” he said (and looked it). “I had a couple of mistakes in my first round so this time I tried to relax, breathe and calm down. But after I got that first 8 it was all good.”
Kolohe surfed one of the day’s most energetic heats against Jeremy Flores, a real close one, but Brother looked near-flawless and did enough to exit everyone’s fav Frenchman. He also forewent a leash, and had a noticeable lack of drag. “I was planning on surfing my own heat and not worrying about him, but then I had to because he was surfing so good,” said Kolohe. “Even if I didn’t win that heat I would’ve felt like I surfed my best, but I’m stoked. I haven’t been using a leash in about a week so I was a bit nervous to throw one on so I chose not to today.”
During his post-heat interview, even Mick’s steely gameface struggled to hide his lack of confidence in the forecast.
The swell just can’t even right now.
It’s been the talk. Like, it’s always, always the talk – leading up to any event waiting period, speculation about the approaching waves is rife – but rarely so much as this. Had round two not been completed today, finishing the event would’ve been a sheer impossibility due to the number of hours required to complete and the hours of daylight remaining within the waiting period. Only a late delivery of the Mad Huey’s Keramas night surfing lights might’ve saved the day. But, is the swell that we, and mostly Mr Perrow, have placed our most desperate hopes on, even gonna deliver? Mick Fanning, a lifelong local who knows whether a forecast looks favourable for Snapper or not, was diplomatic but couldn’t hide his lack of confidence: “I think we’re gonna get some waves. A week ago when we were looking, the storm was tracking in such a great spot. But it just tracked a little further away than we expected. So, yeah… we’ll get some waves… I can guarantee that. Uh… it’ll be better than this.”
Kelly Slater was marginally more optimistic: “I’m waiting for the swell that’s forecast, but any moment I hope it’ll pick up. There will be fun waves and I hope it’ll be a nice size for the finish.”
Italo, one of today’s only three blue jerseys to progress, which he executed with panache.
The blue jerseys disappointed (mostly).
There was a low rate of progression to the next round among the blues. Only three of them won today – Italo Ferreira, Wiggolly Dantas and Glenn Hall. Italo, Stab’s fav new rookie, gifted an upset in the dispatch of Ace Buchan. But, the kid grew up on a right point in Brazil that’s real similar to Snapper, so it wasn’t the most surprising victory. That, and the fact he was fire. “Last year was the best year of my life because of my qualification to the tour,” said Italo in his charmingly broken English. “This is my dream and I’m so stoked to make my first heat and I’m feeling confident. Today the conditions were hard, but it was fun.”
The other Brazilian goofyfoot wildcard beat the other Australian goofyfoot veteran, too… Yeah, Wiggolly Dantas took down Kai Otton. “I’m just relaxed and I’m so confident because I’ve been surfing the last 10 days in these waves,” said Wiggolly. “I was feeling good and I just wanted to get out there. I’m stoked.”
Very little need for a security escort through the wispy crowd.
Surfing, as a spectator sport, really does need good waves.
It’s hard to not be reminded of a kid setting up a grandiose outdoor birthday party, with jumping castle and the whole mess, but no one showing up ‘cause it’s thundering rain. The WSL, in their infinite efforts to deliver us a premium facilitation and presentation of the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves (which, love ‘em or hate, they’re exceedingly good at), suffer the same inescapable truth that all surfers do: We’re at the mercy of the ocean. The crowd was thin, even for a weekday, and had lost interest and mostly dispersed by 4pm. A reminder, as if anyone needed it, that surfing just isn’t that exciting to the average viewer if there isn’t enough swell kick to allow for some kinda fireworks, or at least a small spectre of danger.
Fact: Kelly Slater and Italo Ferreira hit the water at 7am QLD time tomorrow. Get at today’s playbacks here.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results (1st to R3, 2nd = 25th):
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.50 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.43
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.33 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.63
Heat 3: Glenn Hall (IRL) 12.77 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.67
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.83 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.00
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.17 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.84
Heat 6: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.74 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.40
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.83 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.53
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.60 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.33
Heat 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.10
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.47 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 13.10
Heat 11: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.16 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.93
Heat 12: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.00
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Match-Ups (1st to R4, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Freddy Patacchia Jr.
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
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