COOLANGATTA, Australia (Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2007) – Despite their epic early-round appearances, wildcards Jake Paterson (AUS) and Julian Wilson (AUS) were no match for top-rated Foster’s ASP World Tour surfers Kelly Slater (USA) and Mick Fanning (AUS)in Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Samsung today.
Slater, a rare Round 2 entity, was relegated to the early elimination round by Wilson on Day One of the Quiksilver Pro. Posting a near-perfect 19.87 out of 20.00 in clean four foot (1.2 metre) conditions at Snapper Rocks today, the eight-time Foster’s ASP World Champ left Wilson defenseless.
“Losses can be really good because they tend to get you a little more focused and if you use them right they will improve what you’re doing,” Slater said. “It’s a balance. Take a loss, figure out what you did wrong, where your head was at, whatever else was getting in the way and then sort it out and get back out there. Today was the best heat I’ve had in a couple of years.”
Slater earned the first perfect 10.00 ride of the 2007 Foster’s ASP World Tour season by performing nearly every radical maneuver known to man midway through his heat. Drawing on deep tube rides, full-rail carves and innovative aerials, the reigning world champ pulled everything out of his bag of tricks to amass the flawless score.
Paterson meanwhile, was responsible for eliminating former three-time Foster’s ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW) in Round 2, but was no match for Fanning in what might be the final Foster’s ASP World Tour heat for Paterson’s illustrious career. Fanning, who won the Quiksilver Pro in 2005, posted an 18.07 to Paterson’s 12.93.
“Yeah it all went good, just watching Kelly the heat before, he went mad and I was just pretty excited to get out there,” Fanning said. “This is probably the best I’ve seen Snapper for the contest. I surf it all the time and usually there’re a thousand people in the way and you can’t really do a turn.”
Fanning and friends chaired the now-retired Paterson out of the ocean after their heat.
“Just to surf out there with Jake in his last event, after the tens of years he’s been on tour, it was pretty special for me,” Fanning said. “Ever since I’ve been on tour he’s been there to help me out. I’m just stoked I got to share that last heat with him.”
Top seeded surfers Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Taj Burrow (AUS) also advanced, though both surfers were forced to dig deep to find the form they needed to move to Round 4.
Parkinson overcame Brazilian rookie Leonardo Neves in the first heat of the day, but the 2002 Quiksilver Pro champion was admittedly rattled afterward.
“Leonardo (Neves) is going to be a really fierce competitor this year,” Parkinson said. “I really think that he will do some damage; drawing him won’t be a walk in the park at all. He had me on the ropes there for a while. I just had to have faith that the waves would come. I don’t look forward to the next match – he’s pretty good.”
Burrow barely scraped through his heat against injury alternate Trent Munro (AUS). Needing a solid score with time ticking down, Burrow pulled out all the stops on his final wave to net a 7.50 out of a possible 10.
"I still feel a little uneasy, like I didn’t make it because it was so close,” Burrow said. “I’m stoked! I just tried to concentrate on that last wave and get the 7.50 and only just scraped it in, so I’m really stoked. But definitely a stressful one.”
First-year Foster’s ASP World Tour member Kai Otton (AUS) claimed a major scalp in last year’s Rookie of the Year Bobby Martinez (USA).
"I was trying to have some fun and I didn’t know what to expect,” Otton said. “I was even a little confused out there with the priority and didn’t know where to sit at the end, but I’m just rolling with it and hopefully keep rolling. Bobby is an amazing surfer, I got lucky, hopefully I can keep it rolling.”
Other rookies advancing today were Josh Kerr (AUS) and Ben Dunn (AUS). Kerr, who is often considered a purely aerial surfer, showed he has some big turns in his repertoire as well, eliminating last year’s ASP World No. 8 Tom Whitaker today.
"It’s a great confidence booster,” Kerr said. “First contest of the year and to be able to beat one of the top 10 already, at my home break, in front of my home crowd… it’s really good. I’m going to try and make the final first and then to try and win the event. It’s been my dream since the contest came to town when I was growing up. I’m just excited to give it a good shot.”
At press time, contest organizers had opted to run the first two heats of Round 4 featuring Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS). Results will be available on www.aspworldtour.com.
Quiksilver Pro Round 3 Results: 1st moves to Round 4, 2nd is eliminated
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.94 def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 16.17
Heat 2: Bruce Irons (HAW) 12.77 def. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 11.50
Heat 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.17 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.50
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.33 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.07
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.67 def. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 10.83
Heat 6: Mick Campbell (AUS) 18.07 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 12.00
Heat 7: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 17.57 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.64
Heat 8: Kelly Slater 19.83 (USA) def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.50
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.07 def. Jake Paterson (AUS) 12.93
Heat 10: Daniel Wills (AUS) 17.00 def. Chris Ward (USA) 14.17
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.43 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.84
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.40 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.26
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.67 def. Trent Munro (AUS) 14.50
Heat 14: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.34
Heat 15: Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.30 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 3.90
Heat 16: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 16.17 def. Phillip Macdonald (AUS) 14.44