Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quicksilver Pro Round 1 Relocated to Duranbah

The first round of the 2009 Quicksilver Pro kicked off this morning in classic 2-3 foot offshore conditions at D-bah beach.  The swell wasn't doing it for Snapper Rocks and the points, so event organizers moved the comp up the beach for a 7:30 a.m. start.  

The Europeans came out blazing with Jeremy Flores (FRA), and Tiagoa Pires (PRT) both winning their heats and advancing directly into the 3rd round.  Marlon Lipke (DEU), the first ever surfer from Germany didn't fare as well.  He struggled to get momentum in his heat and failed to connect more that a few turns on his scoring rides.

2007 World Champ, Mick Fanning (AUS), patiently waited for his share of waves.  Catching his two scoring rides with less than 10 minutes left in the heat,  Fanning just slid past Phil MacDonald (AUS) for the win.

Riding a newly designed 5'4" hybrid stick that he shaped himself, Kelly Slater (USA) pulled explosive moves in the pocket to easily win his heat.  The champ seemed very focused and ready for his 10th world title run.  After the heat he didn't stop for autographs and ran up the beach, away from the onslaught of spectators en tow.

Other standouts were ozzie Julian Wilson (AUS), Damien Hobgood(USA), and Taj Burrows(AUS).  

Wilson was surfing harder and going bigger than anybody else, landing 360 airs and destroying lips as he nudged out world number 2, Bede Durbidge(AUS) for the win.  He seemed the crowd favorite.  With the local lasses falling at his feet he signed autographs and posed for photos for nearly 15 minutes after winning his heat.  Look for him to go big in this event. 

Dane Reynolds surfed strong and looked relaxed as he shot it out with fellow aerialist, Burrows coming in a close second.  He'll fight it out with local hero Corey Ziems in round 2, hoping to stay alive. 

Brazilians Heitor Alves, and Adrian de Souza both looked strong.  Alves was throwing massive amounts of water on his backside attack, going beyond vertical to win a close heat between the German Lipke, and Ace Bucham. De Souza was smooth and consistent to beat out the South African phenom, Jordy Smith. 

Round 2 action looks like a go for tomorrow morning at D-Bah.  Check in for updates...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Corey Ziems wins final wild card slot for Quiksilver Pro

Local ripper posts the highest score in preliminary rounds to win the last wild card seat into the main event.  

"I can't  believe it", said the 25 year old from Currumbin, QLD.  

He'll join fellow wild cards, Danny Wills and Julian Wilson on a mission to collect a chunk of the $340,000 in the contest vault.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good friends in the ZEE

It's always good to catch up and reconnect with old friends.  I spent the last month living with my best friend from early childhood, on the west coast of New Zealand.  After 18 months working hard in Orlando for another great friend, it was nice to finally relax and get back in the water again.  The surf was solid and consistent most of my time here, even if the mud bay sand banks weren't showing their best face.  When I wasn't surfing I was playing guitar or jamming with an old mate down the street.  Tomorrow I'm off to the Gold Coast for the first stop on the tour, Superbank...