Recap: Quiksilver Pro Duranbah Gold Coast
So the Quiky Pro was over pretty, um, quickly, well it seems like it anyways. The Competition was held at Duranbah just south of Snapper Rocks in mixed up 3-6ft waves. Sadly Snapper didn't have the sand or swell for the magical bank to show itself and allow the surfers to show us what they can do in one of the worlds best right hand point breaks. Duranbah when its on is one of the Worlds best beach breaks but it didn't quite show us its true colours, well it did one morning but we'll go into that a bit later.
The Early rounds were held in pretty big, junky waves and in round 3 we saw an overlapping format which allowed 2 heats to be in the water simultaneously, which allowed the heats to be longer and gave the audience more action to watch.
Slater, who's back on tour for the whole 2019 campaign (we think) got knocked out in round 2 along with Jadson Andre, Caio Ibelli and Mateus Herdy all finishing with an equal 33rd. Not ideal but I'm sure he'll bounce back at Bells and if the swell shows up we might see the competitive hunger in him return.
The stand outs to me were Seth Moniz, Reef Heazlewood, Conner Coffin, John John, Kalohe Andino and of course the eventual winner of both the Airborne and main event, Italo Ferreira. The 2 Rookies for the 2019 campaign Seth and Reef combined style, a explosive rail game and some ridiculous airs to get 5th and 9th respectively, knocking out top names along the way. John John is back with his unique powerful style, a combination of airs and attacking rail work and was only pipped by an inform and on fire Kalohe Andino. Kalohe brought his air game and and an abundance of energy and was consistently landing his trade mark, tail high, '3's', but this time he was adding in some extra style with some unique grabs including my favourite 'Stalefish'. Conner Coffin, who is known for his powerful full rail turns, brought a new flare that I think he's been missing. Some of his lip glide Reo's oozed style and power and it was refreshing to see, and it almost worked because he was close to knocking out John John in the quarters. Italo was his usual consistent, energetic and explosive self. I think he caught more waves than anyone else and his combination of speed, power and flow helped him with both of his wins and the coveted yellow jersey and the WSL rankings lead.
There was the usual controversy of the WSL choosing to put the contest on hold and move the finals day from Duranbah to Snapper to try and maximise the weekend crowd and spectator involvement at the famous right hand point. Commissioner Keiren Perrow said, when the finals day was moved but then put on hold, that the swell hadn't materialised and an un-favouring wind had made Snapper not the ideal place to hold the 1st quarter final even though just round the corner Duranbah, where the comp had been held from day 1, was pumping and was the best it had been all week.
We would have all loved to see cranking Snapper for the finals but the forecast had given Northerly winds (not ideal for Snapper) and a possibly better period swell but with the sand only just showing up on the point and the swell and wind not ideal for it anyway why not just hold the comp in pumping A-frame beach break waves...!? Instead, the Finals day was held in pretty below average waves at Duranbah. Some amazing, raising the bar, type surfing went down but it just wasn't as good as it could've been, but thats surfing and if I'm honest I still think Italo would've won no matter what. Maybe 2nd, 3rd and 5th could've been different but who knows!?
The 2019 WSL Championship Tour has a whole host of amazing talent and this year could be close, especially if the rookies keep up their attack and the just below the radar surfers show us what they've got and keep us guessing when it comes to choosing our WSL Team. Lets wait and see what Bells brings in 2 weeks time, which is plenty of time to get your teams ready...
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