Where’d All the Rookies Go?


Round Three of the Quiksilver Pro cleans house
By Chas Smith
Photos By Steve Sherman

It is not raining anymore. It is windy and sunny. But who cares about the weather? Round three is about to begin! Round 3!

Quiksilver sees that the swell forecast goes sour the day after tomorrow so everything starts so early. At seven thirty am! I finish my flat white done with water not milk at the Rainbow Beach Club (coffee is a nightmare here!) while Adriano de Souza and Jadson Andre paddle toward the windy peak. It is so windy. But so sunny. I care about the weather!

And the surf is oddly pumping but it is too early to actually watch. So I meander over to Little Lido, on the main drag in Coolangatta, and order more confusing coffee and stare at Brazilian waitresses. Little Lido has the best confusing coffee and the best Brazilian waitresses! Brazilians in the water, Brazilians bringing me coffee. Aguas de Marco in my head. My life is Rio de Janeiro!

I am back to the Snapper Rocks five minutes before the horn sounds for heat 4. Taj Burrow vs. Owen Wright. Ooo-ee! I see hot Rookie Matt Wilkinson standing with slumped shoulders. He got screwed out of a victory yesterday. He tells me he is here to cheer on Owen and hungover. I ask if he was drinking to forget. "Drinking to forget? I forgot pretty early, then I was just drinking to drink."

The announcer says, "Here we have Owen 'the executioner' Wright versus one of Australia's living legends, Taj Burrow." It is so windy! Living legend!

Owen catches the first wave. He is so long and so lean and the waves are standing up so nicely. He does a big deep cutback to a big big backside top turn. The wave runs away a little and he stalls out the back. 2.17

Taj catches the second wave and does a snap, carve, tail throw all the way to the inside. The announcer says, "He dominates the lip!" 7.17

The waves are inconsistent. Owen loses hope with 3 minutes left.

Score. Australian living legends 1. Rookie upstarts 0.

Heat 8 begins almost exactly an hour and a half later. Mick Fanning versus Brett Simpson. Both are more professional and polished. Both are not known for aerial prowess (even though Brett can do them and Mick can't).

Mick catches the first wave. It is classic Mick. Fast and turny without any sort of "what's he going to do next?" Mick surfs so amazing. Totally amazing. But there is no doubt what he will do next. Great flow. Turn to turn. Never pumps between moves. Awesome flow. But he is not going to do a carving 360 or a method or a chop hop or anything weird. He gets a high score.

Simpson beat Fanning at Huntington Beach.
Mick catches a second wave. Linked moves. Smooth hack, top turn wrap around, top turn snap. All linked. All technically number one. He gets a higher score. 9.07. The announcer says, "We didn't see a lot of the innovative or progressive, exactly, but he links his maneuvers together so well!"

Simpson is comboed with 18 minutes left in the heat. He loses.

Score. Australian living legends 2. Rookie upstarts 0.

Joel Parkinson and Dusty Payne paddle out while Mick is still surfing cleanly and Brett is still learning about the World Championship Tour. The waves are now pumping grinding wind on the fringes barrels. Maybe perfect for Dusty Payne?


Joel catches a wave almost as the "start your engines" horn sounds. He drops down, straight into a heaving pit, shoots out and does a big top turn. 7.33.

It took Owen Wright almost a whole heat to lose. It took Brett Simpson half a heat. It takes Dusty Payne one wave. Everyone watching knows it. And the crowd has totally filled out! Joel Parkinson is dri-i-i-iven!

Dusty catches something and does something, which doesn't score well and only takes him to the channel. He is front row.

Joel catches another big huge tube, comes out and does a spray throwing carve right into Dusty's face. The announcer says, "Dusty gets dusted." More than that he too is comboed. 8.1.

And that is that. Score. Australian living legends 3. Rookie upstarts 0.


Kelly Slater and Patrick Gudauskas surf heat number 15. Kelly takes him to school. Kelly catches the craziest waves and does the craziest things. On one, he drops down, gets barreled, comes out and does some perfect and gorgeous hacks, slides loosely and lazily across the inside section. All relaxed and with limp wrists. Then does a strange 360 air that isn't and tucks inside another mini tube. Then another one. Kelly wins so good.
Score. Australian living legends 3. International living legends (who are American) 1. Upstart rookies 0.

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.00 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.46
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.10 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 13.70
Heat 3: Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.00 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.27
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.84 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 6.67
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.16 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 11.26
Heat 6: Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.73 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.40
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.97 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 12.60
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.74 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.43
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.63 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.20
Heat 10: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.17 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.64
Heat 11: Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.54 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.00
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.57 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.23
Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 19.30 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 7.37
Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.06 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.43
Heat 15: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.37 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 7.56
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.23 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.77

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 2: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Heat 1: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Amee Donohoe (AUS)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Bruna Schmitz (BRA)
Heat 3: Paige Hareb (NZL) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) vs. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
Heat 7: Melanie Bartels (HAW) vs. Jessi Miley-Dyer (HAW)
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)

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