Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010: Fanning and Parkinson Lead World's Best Surfers
The 2010 ASP World Tour season is just weeks from commencing with the world’s best surfers descending upon the idyllic coastal town of Coolangatta in Australia for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010.
Despite the narrow loss to Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson acknowledges the strength of their bond and understands that the competitive rivalry only serves to push the performance limits of both athletes as the look forward to competing in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010.
“The competitive rivalry between Mick and myself has been there for years, everyone knows that,” Parkinson said. “Our friendship comes first. Sometimes that is difficult but it in the end it is never hard.”
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson are arguably two of the most knowledgeable and dangerous competitors at Snapper Rocks and will use their lifetimes of experience to their advantage at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010.
“Obviously being a local has its advantages in the water,” Fanning said. “You have a better understanding of the waves, you’re comfortable with the sweep and you get solid time after the last event to warm up. The thing I love most about competing on the Gold Coast is the fact I get to go home after a heat and be with my family and my dog and sleep in my own bed.”
“Knowing Snapper and what it brings is a huge advantage as it is with any venue,” Parkinson said. “But it has been changing and improving a lot of late so hopefully I have been learning as we go along. But we will see in a few weeks.”
In addition to featuring one of the most exciting crops of athletes the sport has ever seen, the 2010 ASP World Tour will also be activating a dynamic new change this season as the ASP Top 45 will be reduced to 32 following the fifth event of the year, further heightening the intensity of the opening event at Snapper Rocks, Australia.
“It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how things unfold in the first event with the tour changes coming into play,” Fanning said. “Rookies can’t go into the Quiksilver Pro thinking they’ll have chances to redeem themselves later in the year. I’m expecting more commitment and risk from the guys that have been hovering around the back end of the ratings the past few years. The changes were introduced to crack the whip on those dwelling toward the back of the ratings. If they don’t step up, they’ll lose their place to an eager pack of rookies. Myself and the others toward the top end of the ratings will need to be wary of those fighting for a Top 32 finish after the first five events.”
The 2010 ASP Top 45 will see the addition of 11 rookies all battling to find a place amongst the best in the world.
“For me, Owen Wright is going to be the most lethal rookie,” Fanning said. “He’s very well-rounded in big and small waves, he’s had ASP World Tour experience and he’s a smart competitor. Other potential sprinters in my eyes are Dusty Payne, Matt Wilkinson and Adam Melling. All these kids are powerful, exciting, radical and capable of causing big upsets.”
For Parkinson, his pick for the opening event of the season is not necessarily a new face, but after a one year sabbatical, former three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 31, will be back in the singlet and striking terror into the hearts and minds of the world’s best surfers.
“Andy (Irons) is back but not sure you can classify him as a rookie?” Parkinson said. “I think all the rookies will be on their game come February 27.” The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2010 event is scheduled to last until March 10, 2010.
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Mick Fanning has just claimed his second consecutive ASP Dream Tour event, taking out the 2009 Quiksilver Pro France over fellow Finalist Bede Durbidge in punchy one-to-three foot waves at Les Bourdaines.
Mick Fanning has been crowned the 2009 ASP World Champion, following a stunning performance at the Billabong Pipe Masters