Gladiators to take to the surf
THE 2018 Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro trials competition at Snapper Rocks this Saturday, March 10 is a gnarly battle where only the winners qualify to take their place amongst the best in the world.
It has to be one of the hardest fought trials to bust down the door and only the winner makes the main event.
Even the Pipeline trials allocate first and second into the main event, while back in the day in surfing's professional infancy, it was the 16 trialists meeting up with the established top 16.
This year's Snapper Rocks trial line-up is one of the most talented in a World Surf League trials elimination.
The trialists are allocated via a number of representations such as local boardriders, the Snapper Surfriders Club, Surfing Queensland, WSL Australia, WSL International and the sponsors' pick. However let's focus on the local talent starting with the women's field that has 12 competitors and will narrow down to four in the final.
Piper Harrison of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club is the new Australian Under 18 Women's champion but has won her spot as the Queensland Open women's champion. Originally from Gunnamatta, Victoria, Piper and her family moved to Coolangatta three years ago and she is now one of the standouts at Snapper.
Amber Dodds of Sunrise Beach on the Sunshine Coast is Queensland's Under 18 Girls' Champion.
Kobie Enright is the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club choice and has been flaring on the WQS winning back to back at Maroubra and Burleigh and with a runner up at Cabarita.
As a local girl on her forehand with good form, she will be hard to beat.
Zahli Kelly from Tweed Heads is the 2017 WSL Australia Pro Junior Series winner and one of the fastest emerging talents in Australian surfing who could be the ultimate dark horse.
The men's field comprises of 16 competitors that narrow down to a four-man final. The ever popular Mitch Parkinson earned his spot as Surfing Queensland's QCC (Queensland Championship Circuit) winner. No doubt Mitch would like nothing more than to win his way into a match up against his older cousin, 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson, who won back in 2002, the first year it became a World Tour event.
Alister Reginato is from the North Shore Boardriders of the Sunshine Coast and won his spot by taking out the Queensland State Under 18 Boys title.
Sheldon Simkus from the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club is their local choice. Together with Mitch, they are the stand-outs behind the rock at Snapper and, if Sheldon gets the waves, he could prove to be the new 'Cooly' kid on the block.
Reef Heazlewood of the Windansea boardriders of the Sunshine Coast won his spot by claiming the 2017 WSL Australian Pro Junior Series. Australia's highest rating WQS competitor Mikey Wright is in and a danger man to boot. pigeons.
The main event of the Quiksilver Pro men's and Roxy Pro women's is set to start on Sunday, March 1, swell permitting. It takes five days to run off both events with a 10-day window for best possible surf.