- 26 February 2013 | Surfing
Joel Parkinson prepares to defend the Australian flag in the surfing world, as the world's best surfers travel to Queensland for the opening event of the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season.
Parkinson has a long task ahead. Young guns are aiming for the ASP World Title, more than ever. The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2013 is running from March 2nd–13th.
"It's been a fairly hectic off season. I've certainly enjoyed my title win, but there have been a lot of requests from media and just having everyone congratulate me", says Joel Parkinson.
"It's a nice problem to have, but after a few weeks of it, I was keen to get back in the water and just focus on my surfing. Winning the title has definitely removed a big amount of pressure for me".
Although Parkinson is a clear favorite at the opening event of the season, this year's incarnation of the ASP Top 34 represents one of the more deadly competitive fields in ASP history.
"Guys like Mick (Fanning) are always a threat at any venue. Taj (Burrow) always does well here. You can never discount Kelly (Slater). There's also a huge crop of young guys – John John (Florence), Julian (Wilson), Gabriel (Medina). You could go on and on. The tour is about as dangerous as it's ever been."
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2013 will kick-off with Taj Burrow, Bede Durbidge and Raoni Monteiro opening Round 1.
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), TBD
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Owen Wright (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Glenn Hall (IRL)