With the first event of the 2012 ASP World Title Series just a few days away we hear from two of the main contenders…
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Roxy Pro (Feburary 25 to March 7) are the first events in the men's and women's 2012 ASP World Title Series. And with so much talent onboard both tours anticipation is soaring sky-high ahead of the event at Snapper Rocks.
Some of the tour's top surfers gathered there yesterday to see the event launched with a traditional blessing by a Dhinawan Dreaming dance group – among them were Kelly Slater and Red Bull's reigning women's champion, Carissa Moore (pictured below). She's raring to go but after a fantastic 2011 she's now facing up to a new challenge: “I’m now definitely the hunted after being the hunter and it’s a different sort of pressure," she says, "but it’s something I’m learning to deal with."
Two men hoping to get off to a blistering start at Snapper Rocks are four-time ASP World Title runner-up Joel Parkinson and Red Bull's ASP Dream Tour veteran Jordy Smith. They're both looking to stamp their authority on the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and show the tour's groms – including Gabriel Medina, John John Florence and Kolohe Andino – who's in charge.
Australia's Parkinson, a two-time winner of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, is in confident mood. He's hoping his training regime and the mental toughness he's developed over the years will pay dividends. His only worry are the nerves that start jangling whenever surfing on home territory.
“I used to get that nervous, excited feeling a few weeks before Snapper, but the year is so long that you try and hold that off as much as you can because once it starts it's hard to stop. It's like a steamroller,” said Parkinson. “Now that we're a week away from it my blood will start to bubble and get I’ll that feeling soon.”
Jordy Smith, a former Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Runner-Up (and pictured below), is entering his fifth ASP World Title season. He's spent the off-season training on his native pointbreak, Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa, and is looking forward to opening his account on the Gold Coast – one of his favourite events on the tour.
"I had some really good waves at home and I've been going to J-Bay a lot to work on my boards for Snapper,” Smith said. “If a board doesn't go good there it's not going to work anywhere. It's such a good wave that you can stand up and feel every little bump in your boards. I've been testing fins as well, seeing which fins work with what boards. I think in my first couple of years I lost some heats because I wasn't that dialed in with my equipment, so I'm just working on eliminating that. I've also been staying fit with some training.”
Smith, fully recovered from a rib injury he suffered surfing Teahupoo in 2011, is one of the surfers to watch in 2012 but is quick to pay lip service to his rivals: “I think the World Title race will always have the usual suspects. You can never count out Mick [Fanning] and Joel [Parkinson], and there's always Kelly [Slater]. But I think you're going to see some young guns in there too. I also think Julian [Wilson] is going to go pretty hard this year.”
The action begins tomorrow with the Moskova Trials. The winner of both the men’s and women’s trials will receive the final wildcard entry into the main events which start on Saturday.
- Find out more about the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
- Watch live action from the men's event
- Watch live action from the women's event
- Official website of the ASP World Tour
- More surfing on redbull.com