Defending Breaka Burleigh Pro Champion Taj Burrow looked sharp in his opening heat at Burleigh Heads today. Photo: Courtesy of ASP

GOLD COAST, Queensland/Australia (Thursday, February 17, 2011) – Defending event champion Taj Burrow (AUS) has sent a warning shot through the field of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star, US$85,000 Breaka Burleigh Pro as day-three saw performance levels go through the roof.

"I felt great out there – The waves are high performance and my surfboards feel right as well as my overall fitness – I'd love to win this event again, it's a great venue and the field is top quality and the waves are good – everything we want from a good surf event" said Burrow.

A clean 1m swell ran down the iconic pointbreak of Burleigh Heads with the likes Jeremy Flores (FRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), local Jay 'Bottle' Thompson and of course defending champion Taj Burrow displaying a full repertoire of modern surfing as thousands of spectators enjoyed the action from the natural amphitheatre on the headland.

Burrow spearheaded the top seeds in the event, posting a massive combined two-wave heat total of 17.17 (out of a possible 20) including two eight-point-plus rides advancing to the Round of 32 along with second place Mitch Crews (AUS – 14.17) and eliminating Nathan Webster (AUS – 11.54) and Kaito Ohashi (JPN – 10.27) who finished third and fourth respectively.

Kicking off the day, 1980 Stubbies Classic Champion and event wildcard Peter Harris was unable to find the waves he needed to advance through his heat, but proved to be one of the most popular competitors of the event with both fans and media alike.

The 2011 Breaka Burleigh Pro will continue tomorrow with an event champion likely to be crowned Sunday.

In 2010, Breaka Flavoured Milk returned professional surfing to its spiritual home of Burleigh Heads after almost a 10-year hiatus from the iconic surfing venue.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro is proudly supported by Breaka Flavoured Milk, Surfing Queensland, ASP Australasia, Channel 7,, Nova 106.9fm, SEA FM, Ooh!, Coastalwatch, Australia's Surfing Life, GCCC, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, JR Surfboards, 5 and a half Sunglasses and Air Asia.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro will be broadcast LIVE via

Daily TV newsfeeds and high quality complimentary digital images along with press releases will be made available throughout the event.

The Breaka Burleigh Pro will commence on February 16 and conclude February 20, 2011.