Go buy those popcorn seeds, and make sure you have oil – because this Sunday, after nearly a month’s break following Ace Buchan’s win at Teahupo’o, the Dream Tour is about to kick-off again – and it’s going to be one heck of a show.
Kelly Slater leads the rest, as the ASP’s Top-34 (minus a few wounded) prepare to tear the Trestles lineup to tatters, with the Hurley Pro set to begin this Sunday at Lowers.
It’s the seventh stop on the 2013 ASP World Tour, and it signals the start of a non-stop (nearly) marathon of three events back-to-back – where world title races can get won, lost, or for some, kick-started.
Slater will be looking to stamp his authority on this year’s world title race with a seventh win at Trestles.
Not only is Kelly leading the world rankings, he’s also the three-time reigning champ, and six-time winner at Lowers – so the odds are definitely in his favour to grab a result that could put him a good board-length ahead of anyone trying to stop him from securing his 12th world title.
Of the chasing pack, Mick Fanning is nipping at Kelly’s heels just 1050 points behind, while Parko and Jordy are still in touching distance a little over 8000 points behind. Taj Burrow rounds out the Top 5 a further 4000 points back. They’ll all be hoping the 11-time world champ slips up early, while they get on a roll.
For Jordy, Trestles is like his home break away from home. He spends large portions of his time away from the Dream Tour in California, and being such a classy and consistent wave, it’s the perfect place to get in some surf time between sponsor commitments.
Jordy loves Lowers, and we all love to watch Jordy, so it’s going to be quite a show.
“I love Lowers!” claims the current world number 4. “I think the slopey wave suits my rail game and I have been fine-tuning my equipment out there for two years now. Last year still haunts me – if I’d just finished either of my top two waves (against Parko), I would have been into the Semifinals and possibly further. That’s definitely in the back of my mind and driving me this year. I’ve put in my time at Lowers and when it lines up, the rights are a perfect canvas to tick off everything in your repertoire. I love to use my size and hack the open walls then make the most of the end sections with a punt.”
Another surfer who loves to make the most of the end section (or every section) with a punt, is Dane Reynolds. The Venturan, along with Australia’s Mitch Crews, have been handed the wildcards for the Hurley Pro. Mitch is the sponsor’s wildcard, while Dane earned his ticket to the big show by winning a first-of-its-kind online wildcard trials – the semi-finals of which almost saw Dane lose out to a relative unknown, 17 year-old Cam Richards, who promoted himself through social networking like “an internet wizard or something” as Dane put it.
Dane responded to Cam’s social media onslaught by starting an Instagram account, and with online support from actor/singer Jamie Foxx, actor Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s lightie), Brody Jenner (part of the Kardashian family – we had to look that one up, we swear), and getting backed by fellow Quiksilver buddies, Kelly Slater and Tony Hawk, Dane finally managed to canvas enough votes to see him clinch a spot at Lowers. More about that here>>
Dane will be adding his usual spice to a tasty lineup.
News dropped last week that Dane had injured his wrist while on a surf trip in the Mentawais, which cast doubts on him being able to compete at Trestles, but he has since posted an update on his newly formed Instagram account to let us all know that he’s going to be just fine – which means all eyes will be on Heat 6 of Round 1, to see if Dane can throw an early spanner in the works for Kelly Slater and Brett Simpson in their match-up.
Travis has been having a relatively quiet year on tour so far and currently sits at 22nd in the rankings. Having also spent much of his time between contests in California, he should also feel right at home at Trestles. With his lightning quick style, Travis will be searching for a good result to secure his spot in the top 34 for next year – something he’s done on repeated occasions during his long career.
Rounding out the show will be the rest of the Top 34, including guys like John John, Gabriel Medina, Julian Wilson, Josh Kerr, and all the way through to guys who are literally fighting for a result to earn enough cash to get to the next event, like Brazilian Raoni Monteiro – so it’s going to be all killer and no filler.
These guys all know what it takes to win a heat (as Ace Buchan proved against Slater in the last event), and they’ve shared their secrets to winning at Lowers in the clip below. It also gives us just a taste of some of the tactical battles, and go-for-broke moves (think JJF’s ginormous punt against Joel at Keramas) that we can expect from just about every heat at the Hurley Pro – but especially as the event winds towards the final rounds.
Their result at Trestles might just decide how the rest of their season plays out, and they will all want to leave for Europe on a roll.
Tune in to www.thehurleypro.com this Sunday to catch the action, and make sure you have a comfortable chair, because it’s going to be hard to turn your attention away from the onslaught that’s about to get unleashed.
“Shakas brah!” say’s Dane…
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Nat Young (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF), TBA
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), TBA
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), TBA
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS), Gabriel Medina (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Yadin Nicol (AUS))
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kai Otton (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA)
* Draw subject to change pending withdrawals.