Jack Freestone secured a position in the mai event after winning the trials Jack Freestone secured a position in the mai event after winning the trials WSL

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Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00


The world’s best surfers are on Australia’s Gold Coast for the opening stop of the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) season, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, held from February 28 - March 11, 2015. 


Gabriel Medina (BRA), reigning WSL Champion and defending Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner, is ready to commence his maiden title defense. “It’s been busy since December,” Medina admitted. “It’s been great to have all the support of my country over the offseason, but I’m excited to be back in the jersey. The bank is looking good and it will feel great to get back in the water.” 

Medina will face Quiksilver rookie Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and event wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA), in the opening round of competition. Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA), three-time and 11-time world champions respectively, put on a spirited battle for the crown in 2014, sending the title race to the final event of the season at Pipeline. Although Fanning, 33, narrowly missed out on a fourth title, the lightning-fast Australian will enjoy the benefit of commencing the 2015 season at home on the Gold Coast. 

The men’s rookie class for the 2015 season, including Quiksilver team members Matt Banting (AUS) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), will compete for the first time among the world’s elite. 

Gold Coast local surfer Jack Freestone (AUS) took out the trials this afternoon and will match-up against Fanning and Banting when Round 1 commences. 

Reigning World Surf League (WSL) Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) from the Roxy Team, is rested and focused ahead of the opening stop of the 2015 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT), the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, from March 28 to February 11. “This is the first offseason that I can remember where I just stayed home and decompressed,” Gilmore said. “It was great to be in one place and collect myself after a really intense 2014. We’ve had great waves over the past few weeks and it’s been productive to hone in on my fitness, equipment and approach heading into the start of the 2015 season.” 

The Roxy Pro Gold Coast, where Gilmore was victorious last season en route to clinching her 6th world surfing crown, boasts the added importance of 50% of the winners over the past decade going on to claim that year’s world title. “We’re back and we’re on,” Gilmore said. “Great to see everyone back in town and excited to put the jersey back on and get to it.” 

Gilmore faces a returned-to-form Silvana Lima (BRA) and promising Aussie talent from the Roxy team, Bronte Macaulay (AUS), (winner of the Trials) in the opening round of competition. 

Surfline, official forecaster for the World Surf League, are calling for: Saturday starts off with modest East swell, but slowly declines through the weekend into Monday. Small surf Monday through Thursday. Then a possible larger mix of South shifting SE windswell and South groundswell over the 6th-8th, but with breezy South veering SE winds. More surf potential after that. 

Event organizers will meet today morning at 7:30am (local time) to assess conditions for a possible 8am start. 

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Match-Ups: 

Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA) 

Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 

Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS), 

Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW) 

Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 

Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW) 

Running in conjunction with the Roxy Pro will be the world’s best male surfers in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. 

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Match-Ups: 

Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA) 

Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Ricardo Christie (NZL) 

Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), C.J. Hobgood (USA) 

Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL) 

Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS), TBD 

Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Dane Reynolds (USA)

Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Kai Otton (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA) 

Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW) 

Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW) 

Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 

Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Italo Ferreira (BRA) 

Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Adam Melling (AUS) 

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