The Quik Pro came to a dramatic finish after six consecutive lay days filled with expression sessions and Jimmy Buffett sightings. In uncharacteristic Snapper Rocks fashion, Finals’ day was full of upsets, goofyfooters, and a Brazilian storm that even world champion locals couldn’t stop; all three of which culminated in the Final. After narrowly defeating Taj Burrow with a buzzer-beater backside attack, Gabriel Medina took down Joel Parkinson in a tightly-contested Final that appeared to be out of his reach for the majority of the 35-minute heat. Parkinson’s local knowledge caught him the best waves, including a 9-point ride to start things off, but you can never count out Medina. We’ve broken down all the key aspects of the event, so you can pretend you stayed up to watch it.
SEE THE PHOTOS: Glory on the Gold Coast
Conditions in a Sentence
Moments of quintessential Snapper Rocks brilliance coupled with fickle tide swings and tricky winds, particularly from the Semifinals on.
Best Heat: Final – Gabriel Medina 16.33 def. Joel Parkinson 16.27
Had Parko held on to win the Final, this distinction would have gone to his Semifinal heat against Adriano de Souza, in which he came in with over two minutes on the clock after posting a 9.00 and an 8.77. But Medina’s comeback in the dying minutes, and his buzzer-beater 7.83, were more than enough to edge it out.
Breakthrough Performer: Miguel Pupo
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought a sophomore goofyfooter would beat Owen Wright and Josh Kerr en route to a Quarterfinal finish. Pupo’s ability to string together multiple backhand maneuvers in both the critical and flat sections of the bank were topped only by Medina. Let’s see if he can take some momentum into Margaret River.
Disappointing Performer: TIE – Julian Wilson and John John Florence
Without a doubt, Wilson and Florence have the talent to be in the Top 10, if not the Top 5. That makes them title contenders and title contenders can’t lose in Round 2. Don’t expect the first-contest-of-the-year slump to last, Florence won Margaret River when it was a WQS and Wilson is too good to let this get to his head.
Best Post-Heat Interview: Jeremy Flores
Flores gave a candid description of his priority interference with Adriano de Souza in their Round 3 heat, calling it “lame” and an example of de Souza’s “poor sportsmanship.” Whether de Souza’s take off falls in line with common surf etiquette or not, Flores knows the rules and fully could have avoided the situation. Regardless, it was quite refreshing to see such an off-the-cuff, honest response rather than the usual “taking it heat by heat” and “looking forward to the next event” answers.
Commentator Quote of the Event: “Priority? I don’t need no stinkin’ priority.”
Pat Parnell’s description of Gabriel Medina’s last-minute victory over Taj Burrow in the Semifinals may not be the most eloquent, but it perfectly described the situation. Medina’s ability to make scores out of waves under his competitors’ priority has become unparalleled and his biggest strength. This begs the question though, can he continue to rely on last-ditch efforts or will late heat starts be his downfall?
Fantasy Surfer Stat of the Event: 77% of people owned Owen Wright
Due to Wright’s injury wildcard, his price tag was a mere $3,000,000. Unfortunately, he drew an in-form Miguel Pupo in Round 3. I can’t imagine that ownership percentage will go down any time soon; his new price, $3,250,000, is still too low to pass up for a surfer of his caliber.
What do you think were the critical moments of the 2014 Quik Pro Gold Coast?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.