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Surfing Soapbox: Making predictions for Quiksilver Pro

Here we go again, folks.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour has kicked off this week on the Gold Coast of Australia with the Quiksilver Pro currently taking place at Snapper Rocks.

So far they have completed round one, with the usual suspects taking first-round wins, including the king — Kelly Slater — Jordy Smith, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson. Also participating are the new wave of surfers, including Julian Wilson, Owen Wright, Josh Kerr and Matt Wilkinson.

Since round one, the event has been placed on hold for the last couple of days. So far this year there has already been some fireworks on the Australian leg of the tour, with former 2000 world champion Sunny Garcia and 2010 Pipeline Masters champion Jeremy Flores getting into a rather heated tussle with another Burleigh Heads local, all of which was captured on video.

Then, as luck would have it, Flores injured his knee warming up the evening before the Quiksilver Pro was due to start. Early reports had the injury as being a torn MCL (medial collateral ligament). This type of injury can take anywhere from a week to eight weeks to properly heal.

That would be cutting it close, because the next scheduled event on the tour after the Quiksilver Pro is only seven weeks away for Flores, who had a resurgence on last year's tour and won his first world tour event.

My win-and-lose record of making the right predictions for event winners was at an all-time high last year.

However, I played it safe sticking with Slater as my event winner more times than not. Last year was destined to be Slater's. Not to say that he isn't my front-runner again, but I'm going to mix it up right out of the gate and go with Julian Wilson as this year's winner of the Quiksilver Pro.

Shocking, isn't it?

Peace.

JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarriorSurf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com.

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