The swell might have been average but the surfing was anything but, as Aussies Taj Burrow and Steph Gilmore wrapped up the respective Quiksilver and Roxy Pro titles over the weekend on the Gold Coast.
While 2011 runner-up Sally Fitzgibbons threatened to go one better this year, her campaign came to an abrupt end when good friend and old foe Gilmore knocked her in the semi and went on to take her first event win since 2010 by beating another Aussie, Laura Enever.
It was a return of sorts for Gilmore, who this time last year was recovering from a brutal home invasion that left her with 10 stitches to her head and a broken arm.
After three consecutive lay days, the finals finally got under way on Sunday in sloppy tricky conditions, but that didn't stop men's finalists Taj Burrow and Adriano De Souza. In fact, after finishing runner-up last year Burrow was a man with a point to prove.
Arguably the best surfer never to win a world title, Burrow posted a near perfect score of 9.43 in the final and all but had it in the bag. But there was a nervous wait at the end of the final, De Souza waiting on a score for his last wave that eventually fell less than half a point short of the required score. Burrow was the victor and victorious, he danced.
High-flying Aussie Josh Kerr caused one of the bigger upsets of the contest, taking down 11-time champion Kelly Slater in the quarters while local Joel Parkinson succumbed to De Souza in the semi-final.
Next stop of the tour, Bells Beach, Victoria in a month's time.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.86
2 – Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.60
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.16 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.57
SF 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.56 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.20
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.43 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.73
QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.43 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.04
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.56 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.30
QF 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.86 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.97
CURRENT ASP TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast):
1. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10,000 pts
2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8,000 pts
3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,500 pts
3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 6,500 pts
5. Kelly Slater (USA) 5,200 pts
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5,200 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 5,200 pts
5. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5,200 pts
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.37
2 – Laura Enever (AUS) 14.20
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Laura Enever (AUS) 16.70 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.17
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.30 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.00
CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S TOP 3 (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast):
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10,000 pts
2. Laura Enever (AUS) 8,000 pts
3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,500 pts
3. Tyler Wright (AUS) 6,500 pts
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach from April 3- 14, 2012.