As we are all now aware, both the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro events and the first stop of the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Tour have finished up on the Gold Coast, leaving audiences with some great, yet some say controversial results. The beautiful Gold Coast served up some pumping waves, sunny skies and plenty of social aspects, both in and out of the water over the 12-day waiting period.
Snapper Rocks offers beautiful scenery in general, and to watch the world’s best surfers go head to head, makes it probably one of the best places in the world this time of year. The Men’s WCT event saw local legend and Snapper Rocks expert, 2013 event winner Joel Parkinson dominate heats against rivals, including Brazilian Miguel Pupo in Quarter Final 4, allowing Parkinson to progress through to the Semi Finals. The domination then continued in the 3-4 foot conditions through to the next heat, where he would face another stand out Brazilian surfer, Adriano de Souza. Normally on his game, de Souza was no match for the local and produced only a 9.67 to that of Parkinson’s 18.70. Still considered to some as the new kid on the block, Gabriel Medina also wowed audiences with his performances and ability on his backhand. He met other local star Mick Fanning in Quarter Final 2, and to the surprise of many came out on top producing a 15.83 to Fannings 14.00, perhaps causing some local disappointment.
This resulted in an Australian vs. Brazilian, Regular vs. Goofy footer Final, with large support for both surfers being outstandingly evident from the beach. The Gold Coast had produced great waves and weather for the event thus far, with the men’s Final offering 3-5 foot walls and punchy sections. The atmosphere in the air was incredible, as all supporters knew it came down to this one last heat, 35 minutes and a winner would be crowned. Parkinson started out straight away from behind the rock producing a 9 point ride and backing up with a 6.5, proving to himself and the crowd that he wanted the back to back victory of the 2014 Quiksilver Pro and to keep it here on the Gold Coast. Gabriel Medina was sort to be struggling to get a solid score on the board, however within the final minutes impressed the judges with a great wave, resulting in a 8.50. He then managed to scrape into another with little time remaining and steal first place from Parkinson, whom looked to be already celebrating. The final scores for both surfers ended in 16.27 for Parkinson and 16.33 for Medina, meaning the Brazilian had snatched the title by a painful and narrow .06.
The eruptions of the Brazillian supporters on the sand were colossal, as Gabriel Medina had now made history being the first Brazilian surfer to take out the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast, stealing and securing the win over local Joel Parkinson, something not a lot of people thought could be done. Supporters surrounded Medina as he approached the beach, putting him up on their shoulders and waving the Brazilian flag in exhilaration. Some think the score should have been held in Parkinson’s favour, however in the end it was Medina who produced the goods and came out on top, regardless of margin. The Brazilians win also put Goofy footers back on the map at Snapper Rocks, as a win had not been seen since Australian Mick Lowe took out the same event in 2004.
Other standout performances in the Quiksilver Pro included Taj Burrow knocking out American big wig CJ Hobgood, with Burrows score of 15.00 to Hobgood’s 12.46 in the first Quarter Final. Brazilian Adriano de Souza also knocked out surfing legend Kelly Slater in Quarter Final 3 with a 16.53 to that of Slater’s 12.17.
Local surf sensation Stephanie Gilmore has proven herself at the perfect mechanical right hander of Snapper Rocks in the past, and this event was no different. Gilmore dominated heats and secured the title of the Roxy Pro against South African Bianca Buitendag, claiming her 5th event title and setting herself up perfectly for the start of the 2014 Tour. Gilmore left Buitendag behind after claiming back to back scores of 8.80 and 6.33 in perfect 3-5 foot warm water waves cooperating with light winds.
The Roxy Pro saw all the competitors make standout performances, including American Lakey Peterson, Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, Hawaiian Carissa Moore and many more impressing judges and the local crowd with their exciting surfing. Quarter Final 1 saw Gilmore eliminate American Courtney Conlogue with scores of 15.43 to 13.50. Quarter Final 4 caused a little bit of local upset when Sally Fitzgibbons was eliminated by Californian Lakey Peterson. Fitzgibbons was the 2013 runner up of the same event and was thought to be a popular contender for the 2014 title. Semi Final 1 saw Gilmore meet Hawaiian Carissa Moore, with both previous World Champions going head to head like no tomorrow. It was Gilmore who out shined the Hawaiian however, putting together great turns and barrel riding to progress to the Final in her own backyard. South African Bianca Buitendag come head to head with Californian Lakey Peterson in Semi Final 2. Buitenberg produced two back to back rides resulting in a 15.90, which was too much of a struggle for Peterson to come back from resulting in defeat.
The Roxy Pro Final saw local surfing icon Stephanie Gilmore now meet South African goofy footer Bianca Buitendag. Both had surfed strong through all their previous heats and this was the time to shine in the 3-5 foot clean walls of Snapper Rocks. Again, both surfers threw out aggressive turns and showed the wave who was boss, though it was Gilmore who took out the event with a score of 15.80, to that of South African Bianca Buitendag whom only managed a 10.47. This event became the locals 5th Roxy Pro title.
All in all both events were a huge success. The Gold Coast produced amazing waves and weather yet again, safeguarding its position on the tour for years to come. The event brings a great atmosphere to the city, with Coolangatta especially offering many out of the water happenings for everyone to enjoy. A great event for the family, for friends and even just yourself!
We here at Surf Stitch would like to congratulate both Stephanie Gilmore and Gabriel Medina on their wins and all the other surfers on their efforts and performances. We all can’t wait to see you all next year and see what the rest of 2014 has in store!