Santa Cruz surfer Nat Young advances to Round 4 at Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

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Santa Cruz surfer Nat Young — the 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals 2013 Rookie of the Year — advanced to Round 4 Tuesday at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia, the season-opening event for the World Championship Tour.

The event — which has been delayed by numerous lay days — is slated to run through Wednesday.

In Round 4, Young will compete against Brazil’s Miguel Pupo and Australian Joel Parkinson, a former world champion.

Young made the most of his first two scoring waves in Heat 10 of Round 3 and held on to beat Brazil’s Jadson Andre 15.17 to 12.60 in the elimination heat, a matchup of 23-year-old goofy-footers on a right-hand point break.

Young displayed confidence prior to his heat against Andre.

“It’s like comparing apples to apples for the judges,” Young said in a preview video.

Young finished with scoring waves of 6.17 and 9.00, while the much more active Jadson had to settle for scores of 5.57 and 7.03.

Young held priority late and turned out of several waves in a strategic move.

“If I can ride a wave, kick out and keep priority, it’s kind of a win-win,” Young told ASP announcer Peter Mel, also of Santa Cruz, after his heat.

Andre caught his first scoring wave in the opening minutes of the 30-minute heat and Young wasted no time in responding, catching his first score, 6.17.

Andre hopped on whatever he could and produced a 7.03 on his seventh wave to take a 12.60 to 6.17 lead.

Young followed with just his second attempt seconds later — with only 12 minutes left in the heat. It was a ride that had online announcers Pat Parnell and Ross Williams singing Young’s praises. Young scored a 9.00 with several powerful, backhand stabs.

“Look at all that water that’s displaced,” Williams said.

Later, when discussing the possibility of a sophomore slump, Williams said he didn’t think Young would endure one.

“I don’t know where he picked up so much savvy, but he has it,” Williams said.

Young posed for pictures with fans on the beach after his heat, but it was his surfing that was picture-esque.

“Nat’s such a strong surfer,” Williams said. “He’s so diligent in his training. He’s so strong and it shows in his spray.”

Jadson regained priority in the final few minutes of the heat, but he was unable to produced the 8.15 he needed to win the heat and advance.

Pupo, competing in Heat 11, defeated Australian Owen Wright 16.20 to 15.90 in the third round, while Parkinson edged fellow Australian Dion Atkinson, 13.66 to 13.24, in Heat 12.

Article by: Jim Seimas

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