Three out of four surfers in the semi-finals of the Snapper Rocks Quiksilver Pro contest in Australia this week were getting barreled and demolishing innocent wave lips at the Queen of the Coast for much of the month of February. The first stop on the 10-event Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour, the Snapper Rocks Contest on the Gold Coast of Australia saw Santa Barbara native Bobby Martinez, Ventura’s Dane Reynolds, and South Africa’s Jordy Smith among the final four standing in the $400,000 and 48 competitor-strong wave riding rodeo — all three of them preparing for the event by frequenting our fabled Rincon Point just days before the tour kicked off down under.
Though he didn’t fare quite as well as the aforementioned trio, part-time Santa Barbara dweller and greatest competitive waverider to ever paddle out, Robert Kelly Slater also warmed up for the Snapper event by hanging out off Bates Road in Carpinteria for extended periods of time in this great El Niño, surf-stuffed winter of 2010.
The Snapper contest, which is held at a reeling right-hand point break sufficiently similar to the bounty provided at Rincon, concluded yesterday with Australia’s Taj Burrow besting Smith in the finals and taking home the first place trophy. Martinez, the lone goofy-foot in the semi-final bunch, and Reynolds went home with equal third-place finishes. For the 24-year-old Reynolds, the finish was the best to date in his three years on the pro tour.
Next up for the boys is the annual pilgrimage to the bottom of Australia and early April’s Bells Beach Contest.