ASP commissioner, Kieren Perrow, gave the call at 7.30am to kick off Round Four of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at 8am sharp with fun conditions coming through at Snapper Rocks.
In heat 1 of the day, Freddy Patacchia was holding the lead over Mitch Crews and Taj Burrow right until the dying minutes where Taj would come up with some last minute heroics, taking the first heat win of the day and sending his to opponents in to Round 5. Next was Brazil's wonder boy, Gabriel Medina who secured the second quarter final spot ahead of defending 2013 world champ, Mick Fanning and Florida's CJ Hobgood in heat 2.
11 times world champion, Kelly Slater, got off to a rocky start and would join heat opponent Josh Kerr in round 5 while Adriano de Souza took his ticket to the Quarter Finals. In the last heat of the round, waves continued to improve and it was local hero Joel Parkinson who charged his way through to the Quarter finals forcing Brazil's Miguel Pupo and 2013 Rookie of the year, Nat Young, to surf again in round 5.
2001 world champion, CJ Hobgood opened up Round 5 against Quiksilver's Freddy Patacchia in a heated exchange and despite showing amazing form through out the contest with some highly seeded defeats, Freddy P missed out on his Quarter final spot by just 0.33 points. The second heat saw Mick Fanning put on a show for the local crowds, dominating the waves coming through and eliminating his local opponent Mitch Crews.
With a quick board change and some wise words from surf legend, Tom Carroll, Kelly Slater was next to reserve his space in the Quarter finals, defeating rookie Nat Young. By now the hindering winds dropped, cleaning up the conditions in time for aerial magicians Josh Kerr and Miguel Pupo to take to the water. Pupo took the win over veteran Josh Kerr to face Joel Parkinson in the Quarter Finals.
With mostly veterans leading the pack, Quarter Final 1 would see Taj Burrow take out CJ Hobgood to bring his podium closer to home, clocking up a 15 point wave total vs CJ's 12.46 total. Heat 2 would see the first major upset of the Quarter Finals with the defeat of Mick Fanning by Gabriel Median who seemed to be perfectly fusing with conditions through out the day's action. The second upset from the Brazilian's came via Adriano de Souza ending Kelly Slater's road to the final and marking his 6th defeat against de Souza. Kelly's post heat reaction mostly put it down to being too impatient when selecting waves whilst his oppenent stayed in sink with the waves on offer.
Claiming the 4th and final spot in this year's Semi Finals, Joel Parkinson defeated Miguel Pupo whilst scoring the highest heat wave total of the Quarter Finals, 17.93. The contest was then put on hold to allow for the Roxy Pro finals to take place where 5 times ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was crowned this years winner.
Australia would take on Brazil in both heats of the Semi Finals. In pumping Snapper Rocks' conditions, Brazil would draw first blood in an extremely close heat seeing Gabriel Medina becoming the first 2014 finalist ahead of Taj Burrow. Fired up to bring it home, Joel Parkinson put Adriano de Souza in combo land and headed back to the beach with 3 minutes still on the clock to get ready for the final.
The 2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final was an absolutely explosive 35 minutes of barrels, hacks, broken boards and a fight until the waves. Medina who suffered an injury in this event last year kept his composure against one of his idols growing up and managed to take this year's title and kick off his 2014 ASP World tour with an amazing win.
(Finals Highlights coming soon).