Leave it to Taj Burrow to make a floater look this cool. Photo: C. Wilson

Leave it to Taj Burrow to make a floater look this cool. Photo: C. Wilson

Kelly Slater's somewhere in there. "Resting", allegedly. Photo: Sherman

Kelly Slater's somewhere in there. "Resting", allegedly. Photo: Sherman

The first heat of the day almost always sees low scores as the judges find their range. Taj defeated Travis Logie with a 12.93 heat total. Photo: Jimmicane

The first heat of the day almost always sees low scores as the judges find their range. Taj defeated Travis Logie with a 12.93 heat total. Photo: Jimmicane

Fred Patacchia is like the honey badger. He does what needs to be done and doesn’t give a f--k. Photo: C. Wilson

Fred Patacchia is like the honey badger. He does what needs to be done and doesn’t give a f--k. Photo: C. Wilson

How many times do we have to say it? Someone please get Crest to sponsor the tour! Photo: Jimmicane

How many times do we have to say it? Someone please get Crest to sponsor the tour! Photo: Jimmicane

Julian Wilson, very sneaky. Photo: Sherman

Julian Wilson, very sneaky. Photo: Sherman

The best-surfing loser of the day, Julian Wilson. Photo: Jimmicane

The best-surfing loser of the day, Julian Wilson. Photo: Jimmicane

From the air, seagulls have the best view of sharks swimming in the clear Gold Coast waters. But seagulls are stupid as shit so Australians uses helicopters. Photo: C. Wilson

From the air, seagulls have the best view of sharks swimming in the clear Gold Coast waters. But seagulls are stupid as shit so Australians uses helicopters. Photo: C. Wilson

Mitch Crews exceeded everyone’s expectations today, in part because of turns like this. Snapping Julian’s momentum in Round 3 with a 15.83 heat total. Photo: C. Wilson

Mitch Crews exceeded everyone’s expectations today, in part because of turns like this. Snapping Julian’s momentum in Round 3 with a 15.83 heat total. Photo: C. Wilson

Must be nice for Mitch to start his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign in his hometown. Photo: Jimmicane

Must be nice for Mitch to start his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign in his hometown. Photo: Jimmicane

Ace Buchan and Owen Wright. Photo: Sherman

Ace Buchan and Owen Wright. Photo: Sherman

This is what the Snapper looks like when it has a case of the Mondays. Photo: Jimmicane

This is what the Snapper looks like when it has a case of the Mondays. Photo: Jimmicane

Visualizing his rock jump. Photo: Sherman

Visualizing his rock jump. Photo: Sherman

There it is. Hard work pays off for Mick. Photo: C. Wilson

There it is. Hard work pays off for Mick. Photo: C. Wilson

If you watched this live, you know that the only name you can apply to this turn is "railslide." Mick Fanning, skating. Photo: Jimmicane

If you watched this live, you know that the only name you can apply to this turn is "railslide." Mick Fanning, skating. Photo: Jimmicane

Dane Reynolds surfed well, but beating a world champion at his homebreak is a tough ask. Photo: C. Wilson

Dane Reynolds surfed well, but beating a world champion at his homebreak is a tough ask. Photo: C. Wilson

He's still happy though. Photo: Sherman

He's still happy though. So is Courtney. Photo: Sherman

That man on the right sure has a funny looking camera. Photo: Sherman

That man on the right sure has a funny looking camera. Photo: Sherman

Kelly Slater’s match-up against Tiago Pires was like the US invasion of Grenada. He couldn’t lose. Photo: Jimmicane

Kelly Slater’s match-up against Tiago Pires was like the US invasion of Grenada. He couldn’t lose. Photo: Jimmicane

“Put that on ice.” Kelly rinses off his win and preps for his Round 4 heat against Adriano and Josh Kerr, tomorrow. Photo: Jimmicane

“Put that on ice.” Kelly rinses off his win and preps for his Round 4 heat against Adriano and Josh Kerr, tomorrow. Photo: Jimmicane

Nat Young beat Jadson Andre handedly in Round 3, a special win for Nat as it coincided with his late-father’s birthday. Photo: Jimmicane

Nat Young beat Jadson Andre handedly in Round 3, a special win for Nat as it coincided with his late-father’s birthday. Photo: Jimmicane

Jeremy Flores during his post-heat, post-interference interview. He said in his next heat with Adriano he might thow some ‘bows. Photo: Jimmicane

Jeremy Flores during his post-heat, post-interference interview. He said in his next heat with Adriano he might thow some ‘bows. Photo: Jimmicane

Owen Wright posted the highest score of the day with a 9.73. His prize was a 13th-place finish. Photo: Jimmicane

Owen Wright posted the highest score of the day with a 9.73. His prize was a 13th-place finish. Photo: Jimmicane

Let’s never complain about the webcast again, agreed? Shit looks complicated. Photo: Sherman

Let’s never complain about the webcast again, agreed? Shit looks complicated. Photo: Sherman

Miguel Pupo (pictured) and Owen Wright had the best heat of the day, with an average wave score of 8.03. Owen had a chance to win it at the buzzer but somehow fell as he was pumping down the line. Photo: Jimmicane

Miguel Pupo (pictured) and Owen Wright had the best heat of the day, with an average wave score of 8.03. Owen had a chance to win it at the buzzer but somehow fell as he was pumping down the line. Photo: Jimmicane

If you build it...Photo: C. Wilson

If you build it...Photo: C. Wilson

If heats were judged by the applause-o-meter, Joel Parkinson would have won in a landslide. Laying waste to this wave, and Dion Atkinson, in the last heat of the day. Photo: Jimmicane

If heats were judged by the applause-o-meter, Joel Parkinson would have won in a landslide. Laying waste to this wave, and Dion Atkinson, in the last heat of the day. Photo: Jimmicane

Tired of seeing all those turns, the kids took matters into their own hands and punted some airs. Let’s hope tomorrow the surfers do the same. Photo: C. Wilson

Tired of seeing all those turns, the kids took matters into their own hands and punted some airs. Let’s hope tomorrow the surfers do the same. Photo: C. Wilson

2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Round 3

Theatrics
The swell showed up! So did the wind, unfortunately. Between the breeze and the low tide, the contest didn’t start until 11 a.m. That gave everyone a chance to take advantage of firing Rainbow Bay and Greenmount, which are more protected from the southerlies. And it was somewhere during the 50-yard barrel that Stephanie Gilmore got in front of the hill at Greenmount that the horn sounded at Snapper and six hours of competition began. It was a relatively conservative day, surfing wise, but Round 3 of the 2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast did manage to stir up a few pockets of drama.

Leading Roles
Sharks…have been a hot topic in the past week. They killed an 11-foot great white just outside the Roxy Pro on Tuesday, and since then there have been numerous sightings within the shark nets during freesurfs and expression sessions. As the spotting helicopters and dinghys circled the lineup this morning, you couldn’t help but wonder if the allure of “Snapper with only two guys out!” had worn off a bit.

Mitch Crews…was burned by Julian Wilson in the expression session yesterday. Twice. Rumor around the competitor’s area was that Julian thought Mitch “was going too slow.” If that’s the case then Mitch solidified the tortoise and the hare fable by letting Julian go as fast and as pink as he pleased, all the while Mitch strung together a convincing heat. Many said it was the best they’d ever seen Mitch surf. But Mitch told me, “I just got such good waves. Anyone could have gotten through that heat with those waves.”

Adriano…had priority and Jeremy caught a wave outside, belted one of the best turns of the day and then crept a little close to Adriano. Adriano stumbled on the drop and ran Jeremy over. Jeremy was charged with an interference and was thus only scored on one wave. The question is, did Adriano do it on purpose? If you took Jeremy out of the picture, is there any way in hell Adriano would have chosen that path down the face? I doubt it. I think he may have torn a page out of the soccer code of ethics and flopped. Jeremy thought so, too, saying in his post-heat interview: “He took off on me on purpose…It’s the worst sportsmanship but I don’t expect anything less from him.” J.Flo reminds us that honesty, even when served bitter, still tastes better than canned responses.

Apples to apples
Nine of the 12 heats today featured like-stanced surfers. Mick beat Dane. Kelly beat Tiago. Nat beat Jadson. Miggy beat Owen. And so on and so on. Regular vs. Regular. Goofy vs. Goofy. It’s always annoying to compare a backside snap to a frontside finner, so it was nice to have a break from that most of the day.

They say that tomorrow…
#makeitgolden. Also, #itson. It has to be. There are only two days left in the waiting period and they have 18 heats left between the guys and gals. Throw in half-hour breaks between the finals and that’s 10 hours of competition. I talked to Josh Kerr this evening and he seemed to think the waves would be the same size tomorrow, with better conditions and winds. It also looks like the 2014 Roxy Pro Gold Coast will crown a champion. With the drama that unfolded today, might we expect a cat fight?
—Taylor Paul