BURLEIGH HEADS, Queensland/Australia (Saturday, February 20, 2010) – Reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) did not disappoint during Day 4 of the Association Of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Breaka Burleigh Pro, with the top seed revelling in the pumping Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast, Australia) waves.
In the Round of 64, the reigning world champion managed a combined two-wave total of 14.10 (out of a possible 20) to finish second to Lennox Head (NSW, Australia) surfer James Wood who top scored with a 15.33.
In the process, the pair eliminated crowd favourite and event wildcard Brendan Margieson (AUS) who bowed out in third place with a 13.24.
“It’s good to get back into the action, dust off the cobwebs and start preparing for the season,” said Fanning.
“Second today was good enough for me to progress and James Wood scored a couple of excellent waves out there and that was the difference, but right now I’m feeling good and looking forward to the final day tomorrow here at Burleigh Heads,” he said.
Meanwhile Nicky Wood, the child prodigy who set a surfing record in 1897 by winning the Bells Beach Easter Classic as a 16-year-old – Today almost completed a fairytale comeback to the sport.
Looking fit, Wood found an excellent barrel ride, posting a 6.88 (out of a possible 10) to lead his heat at the halfway point before his opponents, Hawaiian Granger Larson and 1999 World Champion Mark Occhilupo (AUS) overtook Wood in the dying stages.
Occhilupo, who warmly embraced his old rival in the water, asked Wood if it was true that he really won a wildcard into the event by drinking Breaka Flavoured Milk…to which Wood quickly confirmed.
Unfortunately for Occhilupo, he was later eliminated in the round-of-64 going down to Kai Otton (AUS) who scored a combined two-wave total of 17.50 (out of a possible 20) and Australian/Irish surfer Glen Hall who finished in second with 13.07 eliminating Occy who could only manage an 8.20 to finish fourth.
Organisers are expecting huge crowds to flood Burleigh Heads tomorrow for the event’s final day with all of the draw’s top surfers in action before an inaugural champion is crowned in the afternoon.
In the upset of the day, three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons was eliminated by exciting young Gold Coaster Brent Dorrington and Matt Wilkinson (Central Coast, NSW).
Dorrington won the Round of 64 clash with a combined two-wave total of 15.50 (out of a possible 20) ahead of Wilkinson in second who registered a 13.64.
Stay tuned to event’s website www.www.breakaburleighsurfpro.com.au for news, photos and updates relating to the Breaka Burleigh Surf Pro.
The Breaka Burleigh Pro will commence on February 17 and conclude on February 21, 2010.