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Australia is blessed with some of the best waves in the world, and one of the better known regions is the Gold Coast found in the state of Queensland. Home to a pumping break, Quiksilver is holding its competition for the first time in over 12 years at Snapper Rocks,Coolangatta- just south of the central Gold Coast city.
In 1996 the first Gold Coast Pro was held, it was sponsored by Billabong and was won by Hawaiian pro-surfer Kaipo Jaquias. Fast forward to 2002 and the event had changed its sponsor to Quiksilver, yet there was no doubt as to the superb quality of the wave, the competition or the competitors.
The secret to the great waves at the Gold Coast Pro is all to do with the sand. Between the pointbreak Snapper Rocks and the beach break of Kirra lies a massive super bank of sand. This bank has not naturally developed, but has been created by the dredging of the Gold Coast Tweed River. An enormous amount of sand has been moved out of the river since 1995, when the regional government decided to create a safer waterway. The sand was pumped out and over to Rainbow Bay- aka Snapper Rocks and Kirra, restoring the beach and creating the huge sand bank. Extra sand + pointbreak = super long epic righthander ride of up to 1.5 kilometres!!!
The fun of the super bank is that it not only provides the long ride, but it changes almost daily. Depending on the tides, the swell and the storms or cyclones that hit, the bank will shift and change, so surfers often don't know what to expect from the wave. On a small day, Snapper Rocks will peal waves around its pointbreak, yet when the storms hit, the bank can light up all the way to Kirra. A sharp take off at Snapper Rocks, followed by a thigh burning barreling ride to Kirra's deep peaks has thrilled surfers and spectators alike for years. So depending on the daily conditions, the Gold Coast Pro can call for the competition to be held at Burleigh Heads, Snapper Rocks, Kirra or Duranbah.
Since the competition's inception on the world tour, the winners of the Gold Coast Pro are always considered to be world title contenders. Over the last decade the winner's podium has seen the likes of Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison, Michael Lowe and 09's winner Joel Parkinson grace it's platform. This year the competition is spot number 1 of 10 on the world tour. So everyone is interested in who manages to win the competition and kick the world championship race off to a great start.
Watch it all this year live at Quiksilver pro and take a look below at the pro clip: