Medina arrives for Quiksilver Pro

The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, where Medina was victorious last season at the start of his momentous year, boasts the added importance of 50% of the winners over the past decade going on to claim that year's world title.

Medina's 2014 title run was historic in that he became the first Brazilian to claim the world surfing crown in the sport's near-40-year history and the first 20-year-old to do so since sporting icon Kelly Slater (USA) in 1992.

"It was fun and intense in the weeks after arriving home to Brazil," Medina said. "I had a great time celebrating with all my fans, friends and people here. The reception was amazing and I was also able to spend a couple of weeks relaxing at Florianopolis and Maresias with Neymar, my family and my closest friends as well. After that, I had lots of commercial and media duties with my sponsors."

"In the last three weeks, I started training hard with my team back home," Medina continued. "Recently, I travelled to Santa Barbara and Hawaii for surfing and enjoyed great waves. I'm now in Australia, ready and very excited for the 2015 season."

While the now-21-year-old is favoured for another major run in 2015, defending his maiden title will be an uphill battle, historically speaking. In the past 20 years, the only two male surfers to successfully claim back-to-back titles have been the aforementioned 11-time champion Slater and the late three-time champion Andy Irons (HAW).

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Ricardo Christie (ZAF)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW), Jadson Andre (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), TBD
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Kai Otton (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Adam Melling (AUS)

Running in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro will be the world's best female surfers in the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), TBD
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW)