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Top dogs fall as Dane Reynolds ignites at Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

March 4, 2010 |  7:20 am

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Hot action was on the menu and upsets seemed to be the special of the day at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, with the ASP World Tour completing both Round 4 and the quarterfinals on 3- to 5-foot waves at Australia's Snapper Rocks.

First on the chopping block was the reigning ASP World champion, Australia's Mick Fanning. Fanning didn't make it past Round 4, losing to compatriot Kai Otton. Otton was subsequently eliminated by Bobby Martinez in the quarterfinals.

Another Australian, Taj Burrow, currently ranked fourth, also advanced to the semifinals, where he will face Martinez.

"I’m feeling pretty good and getting a good momentum," Burrow said. "It’s a feeling like you’re getting on a roll, and I feel really good on my board. I just picked a new board, and it feels great; it really feels like it’s coming together for me."

Another upset took out No. 6-ranked and nine-time ASP champion Kelly Slater, who was dispatched by Jordy Smith of South Africa in Round 4.

"He [Slater] is the king of our sport, so just being out there surfing in a heat with him, I said to my manager earlier, 'I don’t even care if I lose,'" Smith said. "You don’t get many opportunities to surf against Kelly, and also I guess it’s another good birthday present for my mom. It was her birthday yesterday, so just making it through a couple heats is pretty cool."

Smith would go on to defeat current ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge of Australia in the quarterfinals.

Ventura's Dane Reynolds, current ASP World No. 10, was slow to start in his campaign, but joined the giant-killing spree, dispatching defending event champion and No. 2-ranked Joel Parkinson in their quarterfinal matchup.

Reynolds started well against the Australian, posting a 9.27 out of a possible 10 on his opening wave. He then backed it up with the highest single-wave score of the day, a 9.93, giving Reynolds the highest heat total of the day, a 19.20 out of a possible 20, and an emphatic win.

"That was a lot of fun, and it was kind of what I was hoping was going to happen," Reynolds said. “I feel like a lot of the time you’re out there and you see really good waves from the beach and once you’re out there, you’re kind of lost, but they all came together for me that time."

Reynolds also received an unexpected greeting when back on shore.

"I was actually kind of surprised walking up the beach and people were cheering," Reynolds said. "I thought I was going to get booed or something, but yes, that was special. That was one of the biggest heats of my life.  I’ve never won a contest or anything, so that was a pretty big one for me."

Round 4 results:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.86 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.53 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 10.60
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.06 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.43
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.76 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.57
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.44 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.23
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.63 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.33
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.97 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.17
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.17

Quarterfinal results:

Quarterfinal 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.70 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.40
Quarterfinal 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.66 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.64
Quarterfinal 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 19.20 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.47
Quarterfinal 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.10 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.77

Semifinal matchups:

Semifinal 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Bobby Martinez (USA)
Semifinal 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Dane Reynolds completed a sensational day of surfing at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, advancing through two rounds of competition to earn his place into the semifinals. Credit: Kelly Cestari / ASP

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