Durbidge set for challenge
ASP World No.5 Bede Durbidge is one of the local surfers gearing up to take on the strong overseas contingent at this month's Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks.
The 28-year-old from Currumbin is sticking to a fierce training regime, focusing his sights on knocking Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith off the top two spots on the leaderboard.
“Training's going really well. I've been getting ready since January and we're lucky that we've had some good waves this year,” he said.
World runner-up young-gun Smith, 23, claimed the No.2 spot after phenomenal victories last year at the Billabong Pro in his native South Africa and the ASP 5-Star Mr Price Pro.
Durbidge said all eyes would be on toppling the youngster.
“It's his third year on tour so he's gonna be right up there and he's got everything he needs to stay at the top of the competition,” Durbidge said.
“He'll definitely be a tough one to beat.”
Durbidge is hoping he and other local surfers put in top performances during this week's Burleigh Breaka Pro to get an edge on the overseas competitors in the Quiksilver Pro.
“I love surfing Burleigh and the Breaka's such a good warm-up for the Quiksilver Pro, so it's awesome to get a good result there,” he said.
“It's great for your confidence if you do well and it gets the ball rolling for the rest of the season.”
But Smith has been training hard at home in South Africa to retain the number two spot, surfing a number of different breaks in preparation for the Quiksilver Pro.
“Cape Town offers so many different surf breaks at this time of year, so I have been spending time surfing them up and down the coast,” he said.
“There are so many talented surfers, wildcards and new guys from the world rankings who will be all showcasing themselves in this event.”
Taj Burrows and Mick Fanning round out the top five men with Durbidge, with Adrian Buchan and Lennox Head's Owen Wright securing the number 7 and 8 spots.
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast begins February 26 and for the first time will be broadcast live on ONE HD.