Quarterfinalists set at ASP Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
The Quiksilver Pro, the opening stop of the 2011 Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour season, completed Rounds 4 and 5 Tuesday with the most electrifying surfing of the event in clean 2- to 3-foot waves at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks on Australia's Gold Coast.
Defending event champion Taj Burrow, of Australia, continued to prove he is the man to beat at Snapper Rocks, posting the highest heat total of the event, a 19.06 out of a possible 20, to dispatch 24-year-old Brazilian Adriano de Souza in a blow-for-blow Round 5.
"I just wanted to get back in that heat," Burrow, 32, said. "Adriano raised it by getting that 9 at the start and it made me hungry. It’s awesome when you dig deep and it goes your way at the end. I surfed my guts out and know judges like when you’re committed, and I’m just glad they rewarded it."
Reigning and 10-time ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater, although relegated to the elimination Round 5, recovered well to take down an in-form Adrian Buchan, 28, of Australia, to advance to the quarterfinals.
"I feel a little better," Slater, 39, said. "I just felt a little weak and off of my game today. I didn’t sleep great and ate late last night. I didn’t get enough sleep and felt a little shaky and off tune. I went home and rested and tried to hit the reset button before the second heat. I don’t feel like I’ve kicked it into high gear just yet, so it’s nice to make a heat feeling like you didn’t have it all in the tank."
"Sometimes I look back at everything and I’m pretty stoked," Slater said. "It’s been a long time, I just love it. I don’t always love the competition side of things, and I just love to surf and love to get in the water. It’s a blessing to surf here alone. I don’t really know about my plans this year. I guess I’ve put it out there that I might retire or it’s been put out there by other people. I guess people didn’t expect that I would get a title this late in my career, and I don’t know what’s possible."
Event organizers will reconvene Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. (Australia time) to assess conditions for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.
Quiksilver Pro Round 4 results:
Heat 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.07, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.83, Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.80
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.14, Kelly Slater (USA) 11.06
Heat 3: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.60, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.63, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.87
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.23, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.76, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.56
Round 5 results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.80 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.60
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.27 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.94
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 19.06 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.94
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.17
Quarterfinal 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Quarterfinal 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Quarterfinal 3: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Quarterfinal 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Kelly Slater is into the quarterfinals of the ASP World Tour Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Credit: Steve Robertson / ASP