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Burke reaches Last 8

EZRA STUART, [email protected]

Burke reaches Last 8

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Barbadian Josh Burke has advanced to the quarter-finals of the World Surf League’s (WSL) Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro Men’s QS 1 000 in Florida.

But his compatriot Dane Mackie was eliminated in the third round Saturday on his return to Alan Shepard Park after surfing impressively in the first two rounds on Thursday at Cocoa Beach.

Greeted by pristine conditions, Burke upstaged former winner Tyler Gunter of the United States as he won his Round 4 heat with a combined total of 15.44 points after landing wave scores of 6.77 and 8.67.

In his Round 3 heat, Burke had scored 12.63 to finish second behind Stevie Pitman (14.40) of the United States. He will now battle American Tommy Coleman in their Last 8 clash.

Mackie finished fourth in his heat on 9.60 after managing wave scores of 4.73 and 4.87.  The heat was won by Venezuela’s Derek Gomes (13.26), with American Colt Ward (12.57) second and Dwight Pastrana (11.00) fourth.

Mackie, with two heat wins, and Burke, who blossomed after a slow start, took advantage of the three-to-four foot surf on offer on Thursday’s opening day to advance from the first two rounds.

Mackie topped defending event winner Evan Geiselman of the United States by a mere .01 of a point with a 12.37 heat total as well as two other highly-touted seeded Americans, Nick Marshall and Chase Modelski.

“I was a little nervous in that first heat, but then it was right back into it for my second,” said Mackie. “It’s great to see this event back and [it] makes competing a lot easier for us on the island [given only] a handful of events on the East Coast.”

Mackie, who prior to coming to Florida was busy working with Vestal in California, said his goal this year is to reach the Qualifying Series 6 000.

Meanwhile, another Barbadian, Jacob Burke, only secured wave scores of 3.00 and 4.60 to finish fourth on 7.60 in his Round 3 heat of the Junior Pro. (EZS)