Author: ASP World Tour
Josh Kerr (world number 8), Julian Wilson (world number 9), Bede Durbridge (world number 16) and Kieren Perrow (world number 15 ) all put the rash vest back on for the first time in 2012 and all advanced through their round four heats in the good clean 3 feet plus (1.5m) waves.
Perrow's 15.43 heat score included one of the day's top scoring rides of an 8.93.
"I have had a fantastic month or so off from competing and I'm still on a high after winning Pipeline for sure but it was good to get back into competitive mode today and win that heat in what are really fun high performance waves" said Perrow.
"The Breaka is a perfect event for a lot of us to go in and start our season - Burleigh seems to always deliver good waves and it's warm water and big crowds makes it a good way to start the year - that was a good heat for me and I'm feeling excited about the year ahead."
Former World Champion Mark Occhilupo also competed today in Perrow's heat and despite some good rides and scores from Occy, he was eliminated in 4th place.
“It’s like a mini comeback, nothing too serious but I love competing and I felt I surfed quite well but was outgunned in what was a tough heat – it’s good for me to compete, I’m fit and surfing a lot and I just enjoy it…no pressure”
"The performances at these events from some of the new young gun emerging surfers is amazing - Kolohe Andino in particular surfed incredibly well today and it does seem like they are taking it to a whole new level - how they stack up against the established power surfers this season will be really interesting" said Occhilupo.
Occy will compete selectively in a few ASP events in the coming month including next week's Australian Open of Surfing at Manly and at Margaret River shortly after.
Seventeen year-old Kolohe Andino (USA/San Clemente) again stunned the large Burleigh headland crowds with multiple 9 point plus rides.
Andino has surfed through all four rounds at this event and every scoring ride has included outstanding aerial moves - his aerial prowess seems so well refined that he rarely falls and is capable of executing these progressive high degree difficulty moves at will.
Bede Durbidge staged a solid come-from-behind heat win today defeating young South African rising star Beyrick De Vries who also progressed in 2nd place while local Burleigh surfer Jay Thompson was eliminated from the heat.
Durbidge was languishing in last place mid way through the heat but moved himself down the point and the strategy proved solid when he found cleaner good waves to post a modest tally of 12.76 to De Vries on 12.34.
"I saw De Vries surfing by himself down the point and getting good waves so I followed him and the move definitely paid off" said the former world number 2.
Julian Wilson, the events number one seed and current world number 9 rated surfer survived a nail biting heat.
Wilson chose to sit on the inside of the point break for the opening half of the heat but with the tide racing out he found himself completely wave-starved while his opponents were racking up decent scores on the outside bank.
Wilson forced himself to paddle up the point late in the heat and fought hard to find two decent waves, pulling a critical air reverse on one ride along with a very late in the heat ride that delivered him just enough to advance in second place behind Victorian surfer Cahill Bell-Warren.
" I made the wrong choice of where to sit at the start and I was lucky to get out there and find waves but I feel good - it's good to dust the cobwebs off and get into competitive mode and the way that heat panned out - I really had to fight so it's good."
Big crowds are expected at Burleigh tomorrow in what should again be great conditions with the event set to start at 8am.
Two time ASP world champion Mick Fanning enters the water around 8:30am tomorrow.
The Breaka Burleigh Pro is broadcast LIVE via breakaburleighsurfpro.com.au
The Breaka Burleigh Pro is an ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) 4-Star rated World Tour event offering USD$95,000 prizemoney.
The Breaka Burleigh Pro is proudly supported by Breaka Flavoured Milk, Events Queensland, Surfing Queensland, ASP Australasia, Channel 7, Nova 106.9fm, SEA FM, Ooh!, Australia’s Surfing Life, GCCC, XXXX Summer Bright Lager, JR Surfboards, 5 and a half Sunglasses and Air Asia.
Daily TV newsfeeds and high quality complimentary digital images along with press releases will be made available throughout the event.
The Breaka Burleigh Pro will commence on February 8 and conclude February 12, 2012.