Where’s our golden sand? (Act II)
"I wouldn't get too excited," said Joel Parkinson of the sand pumping behind Snapper Rocks, and it's gradual re-shaping. "It won't get great, I think it'll be alright. It's still really deep up behind there, y'know? Feels like a lot of water moving. But you never know, it could get good, it's a coupla days."
Joel had just beaten Brent Dorrington in the first of five round two heats run today at the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast. After an expression session, then the Roxy Pro semis and final (in which Tyler Wright won the event over Sally Fitzgibbons), the men were sent out to pick apart what Joel described as "a shadow of Snapper." But, perfect shape or no, Joel was mostly excited about finally pulling a jersey back on. "There's still a long way to go but I'm glad to get that one done," he said. "It's been a week and we've had a lot of calls, a lot of ups and downs. We've been all over the place, so it's good to just start and get it done. If I was gonna lose a heat, round one is the one to lose. Providing you win round two, losing first round can be a blessing in disguise, for sure. I get to surf more heats, and that's what I love to do."
The round one loss also made Joel feel the spotlight on him fade a little: "Moving down from being a favourite is so good, I love it. I think Kelly's always gonna have that 'favourite' tag, and he's always gonna have the target on his back, whether he's world champion or not. He's the greatest surfer of all time. But maybe Mick can have it for a while, or someone else."
Then there was Dane. His opponent, Adriano De Souza, clocked a 9.10 early in the piece, and scooped priority again quickly, so rather than doing what he'd done in round one (waiting for the perfect wave that wasn't coming), Dane got busy. "Adriano had priority the whole time, and a nine, so I was just trying to catch anything, because all the waves kinda look the same out there. Well not really, you can tell which ones are definitely bad, but some of them that don't look that good end up being good. Sometimes you just have to try a lot of times. (The 9.4) wasn't a great wave but I was feeling the pressure because Adriano already had a nine, and I think you have to match a nine when somebody else gets one. That wave didn't start off so good so I pushed as hard as I could off the closeout, and willed it to work. That was just a turn that you have to do in that situation, 'cause you're trying to get the most out of the section, and make the section."
"At the end there, Taj was telling me to not catch a wave," finished Dane. "Man, that's the weirdest part of heats for me, when you're in first and it's towards the end and you have to show some restraint and not go on waves, and be a little bit tactical."
Taj, whose heat directly followed Dane's (duh), was in the enviable situation of surfing against a rookie and a replacement in Willian Cardoso. “It’s pretty rewarding when you get to the end of the wave knowing you’ve gotten the score,” said Taj. “I’m healthy and feeling confident in my surfing, but yeah, I was a bit nervous there against Willian when he was in the lead at the end. Fortunately the wave came and I was able to do my thing.”
With six heats promised, it was a surprise for Dusty Payne when, during his warm up with trainer Wes Berg near Froggies (over the back), the call came over the loudspeakers that his heat had been postponed til tomorrow. He was unimpressed (who wouldn't be!), and after handing his jersey to Wes, disappeared behind the rock for a freesurf with Jordy Smith and many others. Dusty will take on Owen Wright when competition resumes. Check back in here for a possible 8am start. – Elliot Struck
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.10 def. Brent Dorrington (AUS) 10.00
Heat 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.73 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.43
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.10 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.53
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.00
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)