2009 Quiksilver Pro 

With the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Mobile being called off for the fourth consecutive day due to inconsistent surf, the 2009 ASP World Tour European surfers have been driving around to other locations. Dream Tour rookies Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) and Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF) drove an hour South from Coolangatta's Superbank and enjoyed some good three foot (one meter) waves at Ballina for a training session filmed by their trainer.

"It was fun there, it's good to be able to find some better waves than Snappers or D-Bah when the swell is that small," Boal said. "Snappers was barely breaking yesterday and D-Bah is just packed."

Boal, who was one of three rookies to win his heat in Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast last Saturday, will have to wait another day at least before Round 3 resumes. The Frenchman from Anglet, 25, came up with solid surfing for his opening battle on the 2009 Dream Tour against former ASP Rookie of the Year Fred Patacchia (Oahu, HAW) and veteran Mick Campbell (New South Wales, AUS).

Jeremy Flores (Capbreton/New Caledonia, FRA) and Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) who were the two other Europeans to advance straight to Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, have been chilling the last few days, Flores enjoying the time off to leave his injured ankle at rest. Pires, who requalifed for this year's ASP World Tour throught the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), is expected by many to shine in 2009. Talented tube rider, powerful surfer respected by his peers, Pires will try and use his righthand point break experience to start off the season with a keeper at Snapper Rocks.

"It's my second year on tour and I feel a bit more confident, relaxed and mature," Pires said.  "[We had] a good first day but we have five more days to go so it's still a long way but so far so good."

Four of the 7-man contingent will soon paddle out for their Round 2 match-ups as the forecast shows a possible start for tomorrow Thursday, March 5. Miky Picon (Capbreton, FRA), last year's ASP World Tour No. 21, was relegated to Round 2 on Day 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after finishing third in his heat and will meet Chris Davidson (AUS) when competition resumes.

Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK), who was awarded a wildcard for this year's ASP World Tour by the World Professional Surfers (WPS), the surfers' union, failed to avoid the second round as well and will have a tough battle against former ASP World Champion CJ Hobgood (Florida, USA) when Heat 3 of Round 2 starts. Aranburu, who finished the year with a promissing equal 9th in the Billabong Pipeline Masters last December after almost six months of injuries, is looking forward to showing he is back with hunger. The first Basque surfer ever to join the ranks of the ASP Top 45 last year will have nothing to lose against Hobgood.


Agnes Water Longboard Classic 

The first day of the Smart’s Concrete Agnes Water Classic presented by Sandcastles got underway in style today, as Agnes Water provided the idyllic backdrop to the world’s best.

As Australia’s newest ASP Longboard Qualifying Series event, Smart’s Concrete Agnes Water Classic presented by Sandcastles, was met with perfect half-metre conditions as the best in the business put on a show.

With a total prize pool of US$7000 up for grabs, 2007 World Longboard Tour (WLT) champion Jennifer Smith (USA) was on fire.

Accruing a heat total of 13.67 (out of a possible 20), in what was the standout heat of the morning, Smith showed the complete repertoire of traditional and futuristic manoeuvres.

“It was really fun out there this morning,” she said with a smile.

“The waves are small, but the conditions are really suited to high-performance longboarding.”

Competing for the first time in 2009, Smith showed no signs of rustiness, blowing apart the shifting peaks of the Agnes Water main break on her first trip to the Discovery Coast.

“I’ve just been travelling and surfing as much as possible,” Smith added, after sojourns through Morocco and Australia in recent months.

“It feels good to get that first heat of the year out of the way, hopefully I can continue to improve as the event progresses.”

Hosted on the northern most surfing destination on Australia’s east coast, Smart’s Concrete Agnes Water Classic presented by Sandcastles also saw fellow international stars Anneka Barry (USA) and Coline Mernard (FRA) progressing through to the semi-finals.


Quiksilver Pro 

Small surf in the one-to-two foot (0.5 metre range) and inconsistent conditions greeted event organizers at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile this morning, prompting the call for a lay day of competition.

The opening events of the 2009 ASP World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour respectively, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast have attracted the world’s best male and female surfers as they do battle on the ASP Dream Tour.

“Conditions are clean this morning, but ultimately too small on the points and at D’Bah so we’ve called competition off for the day,” Rod Brooks, Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Contest Director, said. “We’re tracking activity for later in the week so we’ll be back for another look in tomorrow morning.”

Saturday’s Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast action saw highlights by reigning nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 37, and former two-time event winner Mick Fanning (AUS), 27. When Round 2 begins, explosive ASP Dream Tour sophomores like Dane Reynolds (USA), 23, and Jordy Smith (ZAF), 21, will look to avoid early elimination.

Yesterday’s Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 action was dominated by the 2009 ASP Top 17 rookie class. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18, secured the highest heat total of the event with an 18.77 out of a possible 20 for a series of blistering forehand maneuvers in the Duranbah beach breaks. Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, current ASP World No. 2, scored the event’s first perfect 10-point ride with her lightning-quick forehand approach that included a mid-ride aerial.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 6am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Mobile will be webcast LIVE via www.quiksilverpro.com.au

The event also incorporates the Roxy Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Mobile, the opening event of the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour. The Roxy Pro Gold Coast will be webcast LIVE via www.roxypro.com.au