Locals win Quiky Pro trials
LAST Friday's Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials at Snapper Rocks were riveting to say the least and for the first time in memory local surfers qualified for the main events.
Currumbin's Corey Ziems, 25, and Cabarita's Ashleigh Smith, 20, were on fire and both registered their biggest wins in a trials event.
Ziems, who was told he wouldn't surf for a year after breaking his back in a terrible wipeout at Pipeline in December, made one of the best comebacks to get fit in time for the Snapper shootout.
A member of the Kirra Surfriders, Ziems had been training hard and put in a solid performance in a high scoring encounter, just pipping fellow KSC member Dale Richards and Snapper's Shaun “Gossy” Gossman with a pair of 9s.
Gossman and Richards have won the coveted trials in the past.
Cabarita's Ashleigh Smith, who learnt to surf with best friend and current women's world champ Stephanie Gilmore, was always poised to do well in comps after a stellar rise in her early grom events, although the girl from Caba struggled throughout her pro junior days.
But it was only a matter of time before Smith's full potential was realized.
Known affectionately as “Smittydog”, she out surfed a rampaging Sarah Mason of Tugun and NSW's Tyler Wright (Culburra) in a closely fought final.
Both Corey and Ashleigh had surfed previously in the trials but last Friday the “Comeback Kids” went one further to earn their chance against the best surfers on the ASP World Tour.
Meanwhile, the swell forecast is looking better for the weekend after a cold front is set to direct a new SE swell up the coast.
There is even a wild rumor that we could see a tropical cyclone develop next Wednesday or Thursday, March 11 or 12. Thursday is the last day of the Quiky Pro waiting period.
And that's what contest director Rod Brooks and the surfing pros will be praying for, a super exciting end to the 2009 ASP World Tour opener.