The gentlemen arrived on the scene yesterday for the opener of the Quik Pro Gold Coast in clean, high-performance-friendly conditions. Here are the three headlines that mattered most on Day One, in under three minutes.
1. OWEN, TYLER, AND MIKEY WRIGHT ALL COMPETE, WIN HEATS
It was an emotional day for the Wright family, but this time, it was for positive reasons across the board: Owen returned to the lineup for his first ‘CT event since his Pipeline wipeout in December of 2015 and whipped his frame into vertical pocket hooks for a win against a poised Ethan Ewing and Sebastian Zietz; Tyler dominated her Round-Two heat against Alyssa Lock, aggressively with early 9- and 8-scores to combo the trials winner; and Mikey recovered from a Round One loss to win a nailbiter against Michel Bourez.
“You're making me emotional,” Owen laughed in his post-heat interview with Kaipo Guerrero. “Winning this first heat back feels good. It was a tough journey getting here. I fully enjoyed that moment out there, but I’m getting some emotions now.”
2. GABRIEL MEDINA STRAINS HIS MCL
Nobody looked more impressive yesterday than Gabriel Medina. So when he decided to casually send a backside rodeo on a closing Snapper section, many thought it would be sweet icing to round out the hardest snaps and sharpest tags we’d seen from any competitor that day. Instead it was a sudden record-skip to see Medina’s knee awkwardly twist on the landing, the result of which was a strained MCL, according to medical personnel who rushed to Medina’s side after his heat. Considering how Filipe Toledo’s injured groin after a Snapper air reverse attempt derailed his 2016 campaign, we’ll see just how seriously the injury affects not only Gabriel’s event, but also his season campaign.
3. LAKEY PETERSON SCORES EVENT’S FIRST PERFECT-10
Ronnie Blakey admitted on the webcast that he was distracted during Coco Ho’s post-heat interview. His attention was focused on Lakey Peterson, who was busy unwinding full, shoulder-torqued wraps in the bowl for the first perfect score at Snapper Rocks. Her earlier 9.27-score all but settled her lead against Silvana Lima and secured her place into Round Three. Expect an athletic showdown from Tyler Wright, Nikki van Dijk, and Peterson in Heat No.2.
To watch the event, head to the World Surf League website.