Jordy Smith scored a major upset in Round Four of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, defeating nine-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater.
South African Smith, who went on to defeat Bede Durbridge in the Quarterfinal to set up a Semifinal meeting with Dane Reynolds, said it was an honor just to be competing against the legendary Slater, 16 years his senior.
"He is the king of our sport, so just being out there surfing in a heat with him... I said to my manager earlier, 'I don't even care if I lose,''" he said.
"You don’t get many opportunities to surf against Kelly, and it’s another good birthday present for my Mom. It was her birthday yesterday, so just to make it through a couple heats is pretty cool."
Smith will face Reynolds in the Semifinals after another unlikely result in a day of shocks. 24-year-old Reynolds, ranked 10th in the world, defeated 2009 ASP Tour runner-up Joel Parkinson in the Quarterfinal.
Last year’s winner, Mick Fanning, was also eliminated by fellow Aussie Kai Otton in a hard-fought fourth-round clash.
Running in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast were the opening four heats of Round Three of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.
It was a good day for reigning champion Stephanie Gilmore as she defeated Tyler Wright, but it was the performance of 19-year-old Sally Fitzgibbons which really caught the eye.
Fitzgibbons defeated Brazil’s Bruna Schmitz, with the Australian announcing herself as a very real contender for Gilmore’s crown.
"2010 – hopefully a good year for me," Fitzgibbons said. "I want to be in that title race for sure!"
When the event resumes, Red Bull teammates Sofia Mulanovich and WCT rookie Carissa Moore will face each other in the last Round Three heat.