Taj Burrow
Taj Burrow Adam Weathered/SMP Images

Burrow to fly the flag at Pro

TAJ Burrow is the last Australian standing in the Quiksilver Pro following a day of stunning upsets at Snapper Rocks.

Defending champion Joel Parkinson, reigning world champion Mick Fanning and nine-times world champion Kelly Slater were all eliminated from the opening ASP event of the year yesterday.

Burrow notched up a comfortable win in the quarter-finals over in-form Adriano De Souza from Brazil and will meet America’s Bobby Martinez in the semis.

“I try to put emotions out of my mind in the heats, but I really wanted that one,” said Burrow.

Parkinson made the quarter- finals only to go down to a rampaging Dane Reynolds, from the USA, who scored a 9.27 from a possible 10 on his first wave and a near perfect 9.93 on his last ride.

“It’s a bit of a bummer because the local boys have had kind of a stranglehold on the event at Snapper and to lose that is a little bit depressing I guess but next year for sure we’ll be back,” Parkinson said.

Fanning struggled from the start of his heat in round four, falling off his first two waves and passing on another that ended up giving the victory to Sydney’s Kai Otton.

“Kai was surfing great,” said a bitterly-disappointed Fanning.

Otton said he felt a bit overwhelmed after knocking Fanning out of the competition.

“I surfed against him in the first round and he more or less gave me a free lesson then about how to surf Snapper, and I took it into this heat and got over the top of him,” he said.

Slater was knocked out of round four by South Africa’s Jordy Smith who went on to eliminate local hero Bede Durbidge in the quarter-finals.

Parkinson said he’s not putting too much emphasis on Fanning’s loss at the start of his campaign for his fourth consecutive world crown.

In round three of the Roxy Pro, reigning world champ Stephanie Gilmore scraped into the quarter-finals, coming from behind to just pip 15-year-old Tyler Wright from NSW.

Wright was injured in a free-surfing session late on Wednesday when another surfer’s board smashed into her arm.

Also making the women’s quarter-finals were Sally Fitzgibbons and Rebecca Woods, of NSW, and Hawaii’s Coco Ho.

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