As a wildcard there is no pressure to secure valuable ratings points, but there is an underlying desire to come in and really take it to the top seeds. As round two of the Quiksilver Pro finally got underway, Dane Reynolds demonstrated this by systematically building his scores, capping off his heat with a 9.4 and delivering the final knockout blow to forth-ranked Adriano de Souza.
De Souza started strong, posting a nine-point ride of his own, but Reynolds' explosive maneuvers were not to be overcome during the 30-minute heat.
"When an opponent gets a high score early in the heat, I either buckle or free myself up to surf better," Reynolds said. "The 9.40 I took wasn't the best wave, but I didn't have anything to lose at that point so I just pushed as hard as I could on that last turn and made it and got the score. Pretty stoked. I would have been bummed to come all the way out here and lose two heats, so I'm happy to be through to Round 3 and hopefully we keep getting good waves."
Now, I don't want to sound like a complete Dane groupie, but the ASP World Tour needs him to compete in as many events as he's willing to do simply because of the raw excitement, anxiety and energy he brings to the table every time he stands up on a wave. He brings a refreshing change from the usual predictability of most heats.
Meanwhile, Joel Parkinson put on a solid and professional performance against local wildcard Brent Dorrington. The win will seed him against Reynolds in the third round, which creates a highly anticipated rematch.
"It's the first event of the year so everyone is frothing," Parkinson said. "Everyone on tour these days is dangerous, even the wildcards. Nothing's guaranteed and you just have to go out and surf your best in every round."
Also worthy of note, Taj Burrow surfed lightning fast but had to dig deep to beat Brazilian William Cardoza, coming from behind in the dying minutes to take the lead and win the heat.
"I was a bit nervous there against Willian when he was in the lead at the end. Fortunately the wave came and I was able to do my thing," said Burrow.
Pat Guduaskas continued his heart-breaking run of very, very close heat losses to Josh Kerr.
There are still eight heats left in round two, and with swell on the way there is a good possibility of finishing the event at world famous Kirra, which would be a treat for the surfers' and the fans.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.10 def. Brent Dorrington (AUS) 10.00
Heat 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.73 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.43
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.10 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.53
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.00
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)