Day 1 of the Quiksilver Pro
By Chas Smith
The first person I see on this first day of the Quiksilver Pro presented by Landrover is Brodie Carr! He is standing in front of the media center in a blue button up shirt (by Quiksilver). The sky is not blue but rather grey and it is hot humid hot. It is 7:30 am, exactly one hour to the opening bell. A smile spreads wide across his gorgeous face. He tells me that he lives above a brothel and to stop by and see him for drinks. He also tells me that he is thrilled for the year to start. Thrilled that the Rebel Tour is dead. Thrilled with the new batch of rookies. And ain't they great? I had seen Nate Yeomans the night before. He had just attended the ASP rookies' meeting and was told, by the brass, that if surfs in any non-sanctioned by the ASP event, he would lose all his money plus receive a lifetime ban. "I won't be surfing in Uncle Joe's invitational anymore," he said. I tell this to Brodie and he throws his head back in a sadistic laugh.
Rookies everywhere! Nate Yeomans Brett Simpson, Tanner Gudauskas, Marco Polo, Pat Gudauskas, Adam Melling, Matt Wilkinson and of course Dusty Payne plus Owen Wright are all providing such buzz! Such frisson!
As fate has it, the first heat of the day even includes one of them. Brett Simpson. He isn't nervous because he has won $100,000 in front of 100,000 people before, but still, still, this is the WCT! This is Snapper Rocks with Pottz and Peter Mel on the mic. (I am totally in love with Peter Mel).
As fate has it, Brett Simpson catches the very first wave of the 2010 campaign. A mushy closeout. He is surfing against Dane the Dane and Roy Powers. His mushy closeout is a total yawner, but he chases it with a barrel from out behind the rocks into a hail of hurrahs! After winning his heat (what a start!) he says, "Yeah! I'm number one in the world for 15 minutes! Nah nah nah it's fun, you know. I was out there watching Dane and if you go for it on every wave you'll get rewarded." (Dane went for it and lost. Besides Simpson's tube the waves were terrible and vindictive and angry at Dane). "I'm just treating every event like I'm a wild card. Last night I wasn't too nervous. I went to the ASP Rookie thing and it was boring, then I went home, paced around a bit and slept no problem. My little gem of a wave? I was waiting for one of those for the last two days. Stoked I got it in the heat. So fun."
The second heat features hot Australian rookie Matt Wilkinson. His hair is cut so hip and his father is Santa Claus. He seems not too nervous before, joking about competitor passes. He loses and seems so frustrated, "I couldn't find one with a section." He experienced the same trouble as Dane. Soft middles.
Tanner does not win his heat and will surf round two. Marco Polo does not win his either. I tell Marco I love him because I love his name. His voice is so wonderfully Portuguese warm. "I know in America my name is a game (Marco! Polo!) and in Europe and Asia they like it because it was a famous explorer. I am just so happy to be here. It is a dream. I paid for myself the last two years doing QS events in mostly Brazil and Europe. And now that I am here it is just beginning."
Dusty P arrives almost three hours later right before the rains. Blondish red mane flying. Fresh Channel Islands under freckled arm. He doesn't like to hang out much before heats. It makes him nervous. So he comes running in, grabs his singlet, and runs out. He is surfing against Jordy and Drew Courtney. The tide is low and the waves are dredging. On his first dredging wave Dusty breaks his board clean. Snaps it in the middle. Last night I was supposed to spend time with Dusty (for a profile) but he couldn't be bothered. I would say this is karma but I don't believe in karma. So I will say it is the wrath of the Lord. Dusty splashes in, retrieves another board, and sprints past the snapper rocks for a paddle out. He proceeds to fly off the lip, duck into barrels and beat Jordy and Drew. I will say it is the mercy of the Lord. And Dusty's rad ability. He is loose afterward and happy. "That current is so gnarly behind the rock but it was fun too."
Owen Wright surfs the almost last heat of the day. He is so totally pro, dropping into a first solid wave and posting a large solid score. Freddy P (in the heat too alongside Pat Gudauskas) comes roaring back on two well surfed waves, but Owen, the Golden Boy, Captain Fantastic grabs a last minute screamer and wins! 7.77!
The rain is pouring and I can't stand anymore so I retreat to the VIP area. A lovely thing wearing an American flag shirt is resting on a low-slung couch. I ask her what she thinks of all this business and she responds, "I've never seen so many teenagers gagging for it." She is referencing the tanned and toned and horny Australian youth floating all over the contest site but also maybe not! Today belongs to the rookies. And Kelly.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.67, Dane Reynolds (USA) 6.70, Roy Powers (HAW) 6.24
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.67, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.23, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 7.97
Heat 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.26, Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.70, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11.94
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.30, Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.36, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.26
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.77, Ben Dunn (AUS) 9.50, Marco Polo (BRA) 7.34
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.90, Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.47, Blake Thornton (AUS) 8.86
Heat 7: Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.50, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.13, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 6.64
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.36, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.53, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 10.77
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.17, Blake Ainsworth (AUS) 9.73, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 6.23
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.57, Mick Campbell (AUS) 14.40, Craig Anderson (AUS) 6.16
Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.60, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.10, Drew Courtney (AUS) 4.76
Heat 12: Taylor Knox (USA) 14.83, Luke Stedman (AUS) 10.56, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.23
Heat 13: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.80, Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.66, Andy Irons (HAW) 5.83
Heat 14: Luke Munro (AUS) 12.73, Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.27, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.40
Heat 15: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.10, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.53, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.57
Heat 16: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.94, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.30, Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.17
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Garrett Parkes (AUS)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Blake Ainsworth (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Craig Anderson (USA)
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 7: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 9: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Nathan Yeomans (USA)
Heat 11: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Campbell (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 13: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 14: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 15: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 16: Drew Courtney (AUS) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Carissa Moore (HAW)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 6: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Amee Donohoe (AUS)