Dane Reynolds: this man is on fire

Pumping three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) pulsed down the point at Snapper Rocks today, setting the stage for the world’s best surfers to unleash upon the warm-water walls at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover and the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.

The opening event of the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast saw Round 4 as well as the Quarterfinals completed today, with some massive upsets as the world’s best surfers.

Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, current ASP World No. 10, was slow to start in his Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast campaign, but joined the giant-killing spree this afternoon, dispatching of 2009 ASP World Runner-Up and defending event winner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, in their Quarterfinal bout.

“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.”

Reynolds left nothing to chance against the well-built Australian, posting a 9.27 out of a possible 10 on his opening wave for a series of ferocious forehand attacks and fin-free maneuvers. The Californian backed it up with the highest single-wave score of the day, a 9.93 out of a possible 10, for a blistering forehand assault before navigating through a Houdini-esque barrel. The result was 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. I rode a different board - this one felt a lot better. This is the board I rode in my first heat. It felt kind of tricky then and this is only the second time I’ve ridden it, but it felt really good out there today.”

Reynolds will face Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, in the Semifinals when the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast resumes.

Smith caused a major upset in Round 4 earlier today, eliminating former nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 38, with electric surfing and smart tactics.

“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 make it through a couple heats is pretty cool.”

Smith would go on to defeat current ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, in the Quarterfinals.

Taj Burrow (AUS), 31, current ASP World No.4, continued his rampage at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast today, advancing through to the Semifinals and continuing his flawless competitive run over the past two months. Collecting wins at Pipeline and Burleigh Heads, Burrow will look to keep the roll going into the business end of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

“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.”

Burrow will face Bobby Martinez (USA), 27, in the opening Semifinal bout when competition resumes.

Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, reigning two-time ASP World Champion, went down today in a hard-fought Round 4 against compatriot Kai Otton (AUS), 30. Otton was subsequently eliminated by Martinez in the Quarterfinals.

Running in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the ASP Top 17 completed the opening four heats of Round 3 of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP World Champion, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, current ASP World No. 5, dominated the mid-day action, with the youngster announcing herself as a legitimate ASP Women’s World Title contender.

“2010 - hopefully a good year for me,” Fitzgibbons said. “I want to be in that title race for sure!”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.

Highlights from the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover will be webcast available via www.quiksilverpro.com.au

For the first time in the events’ storied nine-year history, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast events are being televised LIVE on FUEL TV in Australia, beaming the world’s best surfing right into your living room.


From the Quarterfinals onward, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will also be broadcast LIVE via ESPN in Brazil.


QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST 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


QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:

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


QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND SEMIFINAL MATCH-UPS:

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

ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.17 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 3.97
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.33 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 14.84
Heat 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 14.60 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.08
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.00 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.03

ROXY PRO GOLD COAST REMAINING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) vs. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
Heat 7: Melanie Bartels (HAW) vs. Jessi Miley-Dyer (HAW)
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)


SOURCE: ASP World Tour