Santa Barbara native Bobby Martinez stormed out of the gates last week in the first event of this year’s World Championship Tour of Surfing on the Gold Coast of Australia. The first Santa Barbara board rider since Chris Brown to qualify for the elite tour, the 23-year-old Martinez wasted no time in announcing his arrival on the scene by defeating tour heavyweights Joel Parkinson and Mark Occhilupo, on his way to an unexpected semi-final finish – earning himself $10,000 and a number 3 ranking in the world. The 12-event tour – which features contest sights at some of the best waves in the world – next rolls into Bells Beach on the South Coast of Australia in mid April.

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