Kelly Slater: teaching how to enter aerial mode

Top seeds of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2012 have moved on to the Round 4 of the surf comp. Julian Wilson, Owen Wright, Kelly Slater, Josh Kerr, Adriano De Souza, Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson kept scoring high in two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves, at Snapper Rocks.


Julian Wilson found form in his Round 3 heat against Adam Melling (AUS), 26, posting the highest heat total of the day, an 18.57 out of a possible 20. On his third different board in as many heats, it appears that the young natural-footer has dialed in his equipment moving forward.

"I lost in this round last year in a close one against Taj (Burrow) and went on to lose a bit early in the next few events so I was nervous before that one," Wilson said. "I did want to make a statement. In my first two heats I wasn't myself - it didn't feel like it was coming together for me. Then in that heat I felt a lot better, felt solid on my board and good to get some high scores."


Miguel Pupo caused the biggest upset of the event thus far by eliminating perennial event favourite and two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning. Pupo put pressure on Fanning early in the heat by posting a 7.60 (out of a possible 10), and the local Queenslander was unable to recover from a slow start.

"I just tried to find good waves because it's pretty tough out there," Pupo said. "I had to win that one, to be on tour you have to beat the big boys. Mick (Fanning) surfs so good. He's got a couple of ASP World Titles and I knew that it would be a tough one. I tried my best."

Owen Wright opened the day with an exciting match-up against compatriot Matt Wilkinson. The pair of goofy-footers gave the crowd a sensational display of backhand surfing at Snapper Rocks, with Wright getting the better of the exchange by a mere 0.40.

Kelly Slater once again put on a dominant performance at Snapper Rocks over Fredrick Patacchia. Slater's signature searing forehand carves saw him earn two scores in the excellent range to easily advance to Round 4.

"I could see that Freddy's (Patacchia) game plan was to sit and wait for those open faced waves," Slater said. "I just wanted to get moving. There are a few sneaky ones that don't look good at the peak, but grow down the point. At the start I fell on a couple of good ones, and either one of those could have been a good score".

"Then I got into a couple of good ones and got some scores, and Freddy never really got into it. Everyone always makes a big deal about weather I'm going to keep going on. When I'm going to quit I'll tell everybody, how about that?"

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results:

HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.90 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.50
HEAT 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.90
HEAT 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.07 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.74
HEAT 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.36 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.83
HEAT 5: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.07 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.84
HEAT 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.36 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.40
HEAT 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.50 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.27
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.67 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. 11.17
HEAT 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Raoni Monterio (BRA) 12.20
HEAT 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.57 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 15.63
HEAT 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.03 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.60
HEAT 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.20 def. Travis Logie (AUS) 13.16