2009 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Day 2

Conditions: 1 meter D-Bah, then 2 meter D-Bah, then 1 meter Snapper
Events Held: Quiksilver Pro Round 2
Nature's Call: Cyclone at night, surfer's delight
Predictions: Dane accidentally wins the event, gets lost on the way back to shore

By the time the Roxy Pro called it quits yesterday afternoon, Duranbah was bowly and chunky and filling, like an Acai breakfast – filling, quickly, with new swell and with the world's best surfers. The likes of Mick and Dean celebrated the end of the flat spell with a fins-free show to the applause of a hundred clicking shutters. By this morning, D-Bah was doing its best impression of California under June gloom – serving up little tubes and walls that could have passed for Upper Trestles or small Blacks – and it was on.

But round two is a negative place, a place where top seeds lose heats they should win and low seeds confirm their poor standing. It's where fans tune in waiting to see who falls, not who advances, holding their breath for a top five car wreck to gawk at. Maybe that's why the reporter seated to my left, busy drafting his press release on today's Quik Pro action, described it by saying, "The morning was just Joel and Bede," referring to the first two heats and their respective stars. But awww, that was the boring part. Big heats don't wait for big names.

Freddy P and Phil MacDonald had a weird one. Fred held rail through three enormous snaps on an overhead right for a (then) day's high 9.70, leaving Macca in need of a high 8. When Phil found one, laying into two forehand carves and a hang-time floater that could well have been the score, he was rewarded with an insufficient 0.00. Whhhhhhy? Fred had gone left on the same bump, way down the beach, and ASP rules stipulate that only the surfer with priority will be scored in the event that both guys catch the same wave. Rules are rules, but I wouldn't want to explain that one to Macca – or to his twin brother Anthony, who was seen stalking down the path with a look of fiery disbelief. Head judge Perry Hatchet is moving to have the rule reconsidered before Bells.

Bobby Martinez watched fifteen minutes turn to dust as nothing came through in his match with Drew Courtney (very smooth, bee tee dub). Needing a 7.27 on the inside racetrack, Bobby flew a huge lien, stumbled on the landing, and got last place at the Quiksilver Pro. Exactly 24 seconds later he was smiling for a photo with a Brazilian dude and the Brazilian dude's backwards hat; the consummate professional.

David Weare and Kai Otton surfed the kind of heat that makes you think this sport has a shot at mainstream interest. In a match-up that mirrors the cricket world (it's a non-American sport with widgets) – wherein South Africa and Australia are currently duking it out for international bragging rights – Davey and Otto lit up D-Bah in the last heat before they moved it all to Snapper at noon. Kai, nicest man on three fins, showed off a backside on par with Bobby or the Hob-twins. He had the Zaffa in the hole and looked good to skate through, until Davey stuck a massive air on the inside suckout to mount his comeback and pip the Australian (SA won the last cricket match in Oz, too, in case you were wondering).

And then, the event came home. After Timmy Reyes had worked up a sweat courtesy of his pre-heat routine with coach Chris Gallagher, he was informed that he'd have to cool his jets for an hour while the giant production re-transplanted itself across Point Danger. Snapper Rocks! Endless barrels! Jet ski assist! Good news, right? Not for Timmy, who somehow lost to Jihad Khodr despite being far, far…the opposite of worse. And not for Dean Morrison, who stroked into the biggest, longest wave of his heat needing a 6.51 to move past Jordy Smith. Dingo carved the choppy beast way north to Greenmount, kind of safety surfing it, and came up a penny short: 6.50, and the former Quik Pro winner was out. The crowd didn't like it, the online audience didn't like it, webcaster Todd Kline didn't like it, and Dean…well, Dean just looked sorta sad, like someone took his lunch.

Dane surfed today too. "It looks all flat and crumby. I wish I had my Fishcuit, but they probably wouldn't even score me on it," he said before paddling out to trounce Nate Curran. They probably would have scored him on it, and he probably would have won, but anyway. A short time and a perfect ten later, he was back in the competitors' area, his mood unchanged. "That's done, time for beer," he quipped. Dane has a new line of Quiksilver shirts coming out featuring his art, entitled "Dane Takes Crappy Pictures." I predict people will want to buy them simply to confirm that Dane is in fact crappy at something; surfing isn't it.

There's a massive cyclone kicking up trade winds between northern New Zealand and New Caledonia that's pushing waves onto the Snapper bank as we speak. The swell should continue to rise as round three commences, probably tomorrow, with virtually every major player still in contention. Every Hawaiian, every Hobgood, every Taylor Knox, and all of last year's top 8 will suit up when the event gets going tomorrow (or possibly the next day, at the very latest). Stay tuned as the Quiksilver Pro Snapper Rocks finally starts to live up to its billing.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.00 def. Daniel Wills (AUS) 8.67
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.56 def. Corey Ziems (AUS) 10.27
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.33 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.06
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.33 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.50
Heat 5: Drew Courtney (AUS) 13.60 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.53
Heat 6: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.53 def. Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 12.73
Heat 7: Dustin Barca (HAW) 11.34 def. Chris Ward (USA) 9.50
Heat 8: David Weare (ZAF) 15.73 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 15.50
Heat 9: Jihad Khodr (BRA) 14.26 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 13.67
Heat 10: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.33 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 8.83
Heat 11: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 11.34 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.74
Heat 12: Chris Davidson (AUS) 16.67 def. Michael Picon (FRA) 12.34
Heat 13: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.83 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.24
Heat 14: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.00 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.50
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 14.50
Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.67 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.23Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Dustin Barca (HAW)
Heat 2: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 3: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Nic Muscroft (AUS)
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (AUS) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 14: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 15: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. David Weare (ZAF)