The Strangest Day Of Surf Competition Ever

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This wasn’t supposed to happen. The 2015 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast was supposed to be done by yesterday. And when I say done by yesterday, I don’t mean it in the way of a beaten cliche used to illustrate the idea of urgency. I mean literally — the waiting period was supposed to end the day before today. Poorly behaved waves forced the WSL to swipe that MasterCard for an 48 extra hours of time but, as advertised, there are some things in life that money can’t buy. Good Snapper could be put on that list. So here I stand, at an uncomfortably early hour, overlooking another mediocre day at the Superbank. Instead of riding a severe hangover all the way to Brisbane airport, I’m instead chasing a mild hangover away with a cup of strong coffee and two thick pieces of toasted bread with butter and jelly and definitely not vegemite. It feels weird.

It feels even weirder when I make it to the beach and watch 20-going-on-47-in-his-portrait rookie Italo Ferreira beat Kelly Slater. Weirder still, when in the next heat the usually serene Josh Kerr domestically abuses his surfboard. Even weirder when Glenn Hall beats Gabriel Medina and the weirdest when, in a post heat interview, the 2014 World Champion casually threatens Glenn through a microphone grasped by the thick and hairy hand of Peter Mel.

It didn’t stop there. Freddy P. tried to boardslide a rock in a bout of post-heat comboland frustration and lightheartedly laughed about it after. John John Florence got mauled by Matt Wilkinson while Wilko’s adorable dog, Bambi, scoured the competitors area searching for him — maybe she’s used to seeing the Wilko that doesn’t post 17.83 points against the world’s best surfer right now? Bede Durbidge stuck an air reverse that could have been a clip in Cluster, then Aritz Aranburu kissed Rosy Hodge on the mouth except Ritzy isn’t even on tour anymore and fine, I made that last one up.

But maybe it wasn’t all surrealism. There were tinges of normalcy throughout the day. Mick Fanning won. Julian Wilson won. Filipe Toledo won and looked like he won’t stop winning at all ever. Filipe is obscenely good at surfing, and he has been vocal about his goal this year. He wants to win the World Title — not Top 5, not Top 3, Top 1. After flaunting some grit in Hawaii last year, that ambition suddenly seems a little bit less ambitious. Winning tomorrow would be a good place to start. Although after a day like today, that might be a little bit too predictable.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results (1st to R4, 2nd = 13th):
Heat 1:
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.77
Heat 2:
Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20
Heat 3:
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.77 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9.93
Heat 4:
Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.60 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.90
Heat 5:
Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.43 def. Nat Young (USA) 8.94
Heat 6:
Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.23 vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.50
Heat 7:
Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.56 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.00
Heat 8:
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.90 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 14.44
Heat 9:
Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.76 def. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 1.13
Heat 10:
Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 13.90
Heat 11:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.74
Heat 12:
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.83 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.13

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 4 Results (1st to QF, 2nd & 3rd to R5):
Heat 1:
Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.23, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.47, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.37
Heat 2:
Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.37, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.13, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50
Heat 3:
Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.50, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.50
Heat 4:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.83, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.57, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.23

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 5 Results (1st to QF, 2nd=9th):
Heat 1:
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 17.34 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.33
Heat 2:
Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.73 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.50
Heat 3:
Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.94 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07
Heat 4:
Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.83 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.83

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
QF 1:
Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF 2:
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
QF 3:
Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
QF 4:
Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast runs in conjunction with the Roxy Pro.

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st to SF, 2nd=5th):
Heat 1:
Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 2:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 3:
Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 4:
Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)