The world’s best surfers lit up the 3 – 4 swell on offer at Snapper Rocks today as the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast completed Round 3 of competition.
South African Jordy Smith, the 2010 ASP World Runner-Up, put in the performance of the day, posting a 17.17 out of a possible 20 for an unmatched affinity with a barrel, massive turns and aerials. The high-fi exhibition was enough to eliminate replacement surfer Cory Lopez (USA), 33.
“I was pretty nervous going into my heat,” Smith said. “Cory surfs well and I didn’t want to get stuck behind the rocks. Matt Wilkinson and those guys psyched me up and it was fun out there surfing with one other guy.”
Finishing Runner-Up at this event last season as well as in the hunt for the ASP World Title, the big South African is confident in his abilities and mind frame in 2011.
“I’m feeling really good,” Smith said. “I feel confident. I have nice boards under my feet and am taking it one event at a time. I’m having fun with it.”
Smith will face Brett Simpson (USA), 26, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, when competition resumes.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion, went out and put on a clinic of his own today, taking down wildcard Matt Banting (AUS), 16, with an incredible display of barrel-riding, progressive turns and aerials.
“It was fun,” Slater said. “I got a couple of good waves and fell on the best wave of the heat. I probably would have got a 9 if I just stood there, so that’s a little frustrating. It was a fun heat though. I felt like I had two solid scores.”
Slater will battle Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, and Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, when Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast competition recommences.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.77 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.00
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.84 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.70
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.17 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.27
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.60 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 6.76
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.60 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.93
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.93 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 9.87
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.17 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 10.77
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (AUS) 14.60 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.67
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.54 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.16
Heat 10: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.26 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.44
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.14 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 7.17
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.27 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.94
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Dusty Payne (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Brett Simpson (USA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS)