Billabong Team Update - Event 1 (Snapper Rocks)
The first event of the year has wrapped up and we gotta give Owen Wright a huge congratulations on not just coming back from injury but coming back with his surfing on another level. This year's tour is already shaping up to be incredible and unlike anything we've ever seen. Our boys led the charge with some of the most jaw-dropping moments of the event (Italo's 10, anyone?) and a pair of quarterfinal runs. Here's an update on how our 5 CT riders performed at Snapper and an update on the next event -
Italo's run to the quarters was headlined by his incredible flat spin backside 540 in round two against rookie Leo Fioravanti (enjoy it, over and over, here) that earned him the first 10 of the event. He backed up that score in round three with a 9.77 showing that he's out to make some noise on the tour this year. Italo was the most electrifying surfer of the event despite being knocked out in the quarters by last year's CT champ, JJF.
A rejuvenated Parko made a serious run at Snapper, making it to the quarters before falling to last year's event champion, Matt Wilkinson. Joel looked fluid in his surfing and his carves were as impressive as ever. Before the year started, Parko said he wanted to make another run at a World Title and his 5th place finish sets him up nicely for a run at the trophy this year.
Freddy's return to the tour saw him start with an impressive round one heat win by beating event favorite Filipe Toledo and Australian Ace Buchan before eventually bouncing out in a round three heat that saw him draw Kelly Slater. Freddy looked impressive and looked full of confidence after an incredible winter performance on the North Shore in 2016. We think Freddy will be one to watch as the tour moves to heavier waves like Teahupo'o and Cloudbreak.
The 2017 Snapper event was a tough one for Jack, who grew up minutes away from the famous break. His surfing in the first round was solid but saw him move into the second round where he went up against Sebastian Zietz who ultimately knocked him out of the event despite two strong scores. Jack looked confident and appears poised for a run when the tour moves on to Margaret River.
Judging by a strong first heat that saw him score a 9.10 before falling to the eventual event champ, 18 year old Ethan Ewing seemed unfazed by the jump to the CT. A tough round two heat saw Ethan exit the event early but his surfing showed a lot of promise and confirmed that the CT's youngest athlete is right where he belongs. Now that his first event is out of the way, we expect a more relaxed Ethan to cause some trouble for the established CT guys.
The 2017 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro begins March 29. Watch live on the World Surf League website.