Yadin Nicol: now that is a flying start

Perfect glassy two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves greeted the first surfers of the 2012 Hurley Pro, at Lower Trestles, California.

Kelly Slater built momentum throughout his opening heat to advance directly to Round 3 over fellow veterans Tiago Pires and Taylor Knox. Admittedly, Slater has been spending less time in the water lately, but showed no signs of fatigue in his dominant Round 1 performance.

"I've got to be honest, I'm not surprised it was a slow one because I had Taylor Knox in my heat," Slater said.

"He's had the most restarts ever at Trestles before for some reason. I wanted to win that first one because I haven't been surfing that much lately. I surfed all day yesterday and I'm kind of tired today. The last few weeks I haven't surfed a whole lot and I'm trying to figure out new boards."

"I love the four-fins, but generally they don't work that well at Lowers for me. I don't know why that is, they tend to work better in hollower waves for me, but I rode a quad yesterday and it felt good so I'm sticking with it."

Mick Fanning unloaded his renowned forehand attack on the long righthanders of Lower Trestles today to secure a Round 1 win. While the Australian has been in deadly form this season, the Gold Coast native admitted the battle for the No. 1 position is only just heating up.

"The race is really tight," Fanning said. "With everyone counting a few good results and in a really good rhythm at the moment, Joel (Parkinson), Kelly (Slater), John John (Florence), Taj (Burrow), you've got to just keep trying and just keep plugging away."

Gabriel Medina took out a hard-fought heat that saw a series of tight paddle battles against veteran C.J. Hobgood. Medina was trailing Hobgood in the final minute of the bout, but launched a massive backside air-reverse to earn an excellent 8-point ride and advance directly into Round 3.

"That was a hard heat," Medina said. "I got a couple of waves, but it was kind of hard to find the good ones. I'm just stoked to make it because it was a hard heat against C.J. (Hobgood), he got a couple of rights and got two 8s. I knew I needed to go big and I got the last wave and decided to go for the air and I made it."

The surf will temporarily fade Monday before a medium-size South swell comes through strongest Wednesday and into Thursday, with long-period forerunners beginning to build Tuesday afternoon. Smaller, fading surf will take over for the last couple days of the waiting period.

Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.30, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.10, Brett Simpson (USA) 7.94
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.00, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.57, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 7.37
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.66, Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.90, Taylor Knox (USA) 8.10
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (USA) 12.47, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.00, John John Florence (HAW) 9.00
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.87, Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.50
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.60, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.60, Conner Coffin (USA) 12.16
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.57, Owen Wright (AUS) 17.17, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.67
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.63, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.00
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.20, Kolohe Andino (AUS) 13.30, Jeremy Flores (PYF) 12.70
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.50, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.57, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.66
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.30, Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.87, Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.83
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.90, CJ Hobgood (USA) 16.17, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 8.20