February 28, 2011

Quik Pro Kicks Off

Is there any other major sporting event in the world that doesn’t charge for entry, then lets you walk onto the playing field to get this close to its greatest ever athlete? Gotta love pro surfing. KS does the business in Rd 1. Photo: Kirsten/ASP

As you know, the Quiksilver Pro – the first event of the 2011 world tour – is on now. Well, not right now – it’s on hold as there’s no surf on the Goldie, but when it returns, apparently you’ll be able to watch it on free to air telly. When I tuned in to One Digital on Saturday they were playing the Love Boat, but maybe they’ll get around to showing some surfing when their backlog of unintentionally amusing 1970s TV runs out.

With very little swell in the forecast it’s worth checking out the highlight vid from Saturday’s men’s and women’s round 1 at QuiksilverPro.com. They may run tomorrow at the alternate venue (Duranbah Beach, just south of Snapper Rocks), but it isn’t looking good for quality waves, so Saturday may be as good as it’s going to get.

One thing this contest is looking good for though, is more interesting coverage. The always-worth-reading Nick Carroll points out on the ASL website that the GPS tracking devices the surfers are being encouraged to wear on their rashvests have thrown up some pretty cool stats:

“The devices provide read-outs of maximum wave speed and distance covered during heats. Mick Fanning racked up top speed this round with 39.1km/h, oo surprise surprise… but the truly intriguing thing is the distance measurement.
To wit: Parko, in his easy victory over Adriano de Souza and Alejo Muniz, covered a total of almost four kilometres in 30 minutes.
When did YOU last cover four kilometres in 30 minutes? Without sitting in your car, that is? Don’t tell me these surfers aren’t fit.”

Watch Round 1 video here, read the rest of Nick Carroll’s coverage here.

by Tim