The Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour is kicking off in Australia this week. The Quicksilver Pro waiting period has started at Snapper Rocks. It's been on hold the first part of the week, waiting for a Cyclone swell from a storm off the coast to get it rolling.
The surf's been in the 2- to 4-foot zone but could get epic if it all comes together. The top dog, eight-time world champ Kelly Slater, is there, rumor has it. He hasn't really surfed too much in the last three weeks, but he's got a new quiver of hot boards, and has been on a health-kick diet recently and is ready to start the season.
Last year's runner up in the world standings, three-time world champ Andy Irons, has been in Oz hanging out the last couple weeks for the wedding of an old friend. He caught the flu recently, but he is still in tune to get a jump-start in the ratings. The locals, Aussies Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison, have won there before and are always a real big threat with local knowledge. They held the trials before the championship tour, and the following made the finals: