THE world’s best surfers have landed in Australia and are ready for the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) season openers, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The Gold Coast of Australia has been a bedrock of professional surfing for more than 40 years and has produced more world champions than any other place on the planet.
The first stop on the 2018 CT will launch the highly-anticipated world title race at the famed break of Snapper Rocks.
Reigning WSL champions John John Florence, from Hawaii, and Tyler Wright, from Culburra Beach, come ready to do battle on the Gold Coast.
Both competitors have put in serious training in the offseason and are ready to kick off their WSL title campaigns at stop number one of the 2018 WSL Tour.
It is no secret that Wright is hunting down a third-consecutive world title this season.
The 23-year-old Culburra Beach Boardrider has been open about her physical and mental training, and her pursuit to continue to learn and improve through this training.
Last year, Wright suffered a horrific knee injury, tearing 70 per cent of her MCL in her right knee at the third-to-last CT stop of 2017.
Wright showed incredible grit and determination to surf through the pain, and went on to win her second world title.
Now that Wright has had proper time to recover, the world is eager to see what she will be capable of in 2018.
"The first event of the year is always exciting,” Wright said.
“There are definitely nerves, but they're good nerves.
“A lot of us have either done Newcastle or Manly, so we're ready to go here at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and most of those nerves have settled.
“The forecast is looking good, so we [might] get some good waves, maybe even a few behind the rock at Snapper.
“I’m pumped to see how everything unfolds and see how everyone is looking after the offseason."
Tyler’s brother Owen Wright comes into Snapper Rocks as the defending event winner after one of the most inspiring comebacks in sporting history.
Wright suffered a near career-ending head injury in 2015 at Pipeline.
Many thought that Wright would never surf again.
Instead, he shocked the world with his momentous comeback win at Snapper, his first CT event back.
Last season, Wright continued as a major world title contender and finished as world number six.
On Saturday, March 10, Snapper Rocks will play host to the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials, plus the Juraki Indigenous Challenge.
The trials will see a combination of Quiksilver and Roxy athletes take on Queensland state champions and WSL regional and international Qualifying Series competitors the likes of Mitch Parkinson, Leonardo Fioravanti, Ethan Ewing, Piper Harrison, Kobie Enright, Vahine Fierro and many more.
The Juraki Indigenous see WSL Championship Tour surfers pair up with some local Indigenous kids for two teams heats with winner-takes-all bragging rights.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast round one match-ups:
Heat one: Owen Wright (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat two: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat three: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Conner Coffin (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat four: Julian Wilson (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat five: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), TBD
Heat six: John John Florence (HAW), Griffin Colapinto (USA), TBD
Heat seven: Kolohe Andino (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat eight: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Willian Cardosa (BRA)
Heat nine: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Roxy Pro Gold Coast round one match-ups:
Heat one: Lakey Peterson (USA), Johanne Defay (FRA), Caroline Marks (USA)
Heat two: Carissa Moore (HAW), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat three: Tyler Wright (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), TBD
Heat four: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat five: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat six: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.