Matt Banting: rookie and deadly | Photo: WSL/Cestari

Day one of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The world's best surfers dropped in at Snapper Rocks for the opening day of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

Gabriel Medina, the 2014 ASP World Tour champion, proved he's ready to defend his title with the highest heat total of Round 1. Medina sent compatriot Wiggolly Dantas and wildcard Dane Reynolds to the repechage round with a combined score of 18.30.

"That was a tough heat against Wiggolly. I knew it would be a tough heat because I've been watching him over the years, and his backside is dangerous. He put some good scores on the board but luckily I got that last wave, and I made it, I'm stoked," revealed Medina.

Matt Banting showed no mercy on his match-up against three-time world champion Mick Fanning and trials winner Jack Freestone. The WSL rookie posted the highest single-wave score of the day, a near-perfect 9.73, to claim the first CT win of his career.

"Coming in as one of the higher seeds in the QS (Qualifying Series) I didn't think I'd have to face Mick straight away. Having him and Freestone out here meant it was definitely a tough heat," expressed Banting.

"It was so good to get a win so early in the year because I was so nervous going into it. I'm stoked to be here, and hopefully I'll get a few results this year and be back next year."

Freddy Patacchia Jr. found two solid scores in the early minutes to beat Kelly Slater and C.J. Hobgood. The Hawaiian kicks off the season with an impressive performance.

"I'm just happy that it's a new year. We get to start all over again from zero and show the judges and the fans what we've been working on in the offseason. It felt great, and I feel strong physically and mentally," concluded Patacchia.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:

Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.16, Brett Simpson (USA) 11.87, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.00
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.44, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 8.94
Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.06, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.43, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.50
John John Florence (HAW) 16.80, Glenn Hall (IRL) 12.84, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.57
Matt Banting (AUS) 17.76, Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.06, Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.83
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.30, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.93, Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.27
Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.14, Kai Otton (AUS) 15.03, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.67
Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.53, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.66
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.19, Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.80, Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.43
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.44, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.44, Josh Kerr (AUS) 4.10
Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.43, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.97, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43
Nat Young (USA) 15.80, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.30, Owen Wright (AUS) 9.10

It is one of the sport's most forgotten disciplines. The stand-up bodyboarding movement had its heyday between the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it continues to be an exquisite art.

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