The beginning of the 2019 Championship Tour is upon us. Held in Snapper Rocks, on the Gold Coast of Australia, the men’s Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and women’s Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast will be held in the window of 3-13th April. The historic contests have the potential to significantly impact the ensuing events of the season, so in other words, it’s a big deal. Current champs Julian Wilson and Lakey Peterson will no doubt be keen to repeat their wins, but with a number of other hotly-tipped pros arriving at Snappers to battle it out for first place, there’s some tense competition. Which, lucky for us, makes for great viewing.
Snapper is a right point that breaks off a volcanic headland, with the potential for long smooth tubes groomed by the sandbanks of the surrounding water. As you head west from Snapper, the next breaks are Greenmount and Kirra. The area’s banks are sustained by the Tweed River Sand Bypass, a man-made aqueduct that pumps sand from south of the river mouth.
The best conditions for Snapper are East-North-East to South-East ground swells with South wind. An East-South-East long period swell in particular will create the best conditions for long barrel rides.
It comes as little surprise that the Snappers podium is usually dominated by Australian surfers at both the men’s and women’s events. Since 1977, the Aussies have monopolised the leader board.
Wins by country (Mens)
Australia – 22 times
America – 9 times
Hawaii – 3 times
Brazil – 2 times
There’s a definite correlation between event wins and World Title Victory. Five of Kelly Slater’s six event wins have coincided with him winning the World Title, and all competitors are wary of the significance Bell’s has in forecasting the rest of the season.
Since the first women’s event in 1988, Australians have conceded to flood the leader board, with a whopping 17 wins – compared to 2 for Hawaii, 1 for America and 1 for Peru. With 6 wins under her belt, Stephanie Gilmore ties with Kelly Slater, holding the record for most women’s event wins. Winning Gold Coast is a major stepping stone to becoming a World Title holder.
So, with hometown advantage and the nickname ‘Queen of the Gold Coast’, could a win for Gilmore this year ultimately set her up for a strong shot at her 8th World Title?
Published on 2nd April 2019 in Surfing
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