For the 5th time in 7 events on the WCT this year, Kelly Slater ended up on top with another near flawless performance at Trestles this week. Slater narrowly edged out Taj Burrow in the final heat today on his way to winning the 2008 Boost Mobile Pro.
Taj came out absolutely firing at the beginning of the 40 min. extended final and quickly put the 8x world champion in a combo situation. It was looking pretty glim for the champ, however as Kelly has done so many times throughout his illustrious career, he stayed cool and came back to clinch the victory in the closing minutes.
“I was literally out there just trying to save face, I thought Taj had me – he was on fire,” Slater said. “I was just trying to get out of combo and put on a good show for everybody. I got a 9.7 on a smaller wave that had a clean face and let me get a lot of speed and some big carves and that let me get back in.”
Taj in fact did have Kelly, and really probably should have had Kelly. With under two minutes left in the final, Taj was still holding a sizable lead as Kelly was looking for a score of 8.93 to combine with the 9.7. Taj held priority as time ticked away but decided to let Kelly take-off on a wave he didn’t feel would give-up the score Kelly was looking for. He was wrong and Kelly proceeded to shred his way to a 9.27, and in doing so sealed his 3rd Boost Mobile Pro victory, as well as a hefty $75,000 worth of prize money which Bob Hurley sweetened with an extra $45,000 today.
“Taj had priority and he let that wave go because it was the first wave and he probably thought it was going to be bumpy but it let me do a lot on it.” Slater said. A very disappointed Taj saw it another way. “I felt like I won,” Burrow said. “I don’t think that wave had the scoring potential. I just had a feeling that they were going to give it to him. He had a lot of energy about him. He’s Kelly and he finished it. He got to the end and I knew it was going to be a good score. I don’t know what else I could have done. I picked the best waves and surfed them really well so it’s frustrating. He was really hungry and ended up clinching it.”
Taj surfed absolutely out of his mind throughout the event at Trestles, Kelly is just on a run right now like none we have ever seen before and this come from behind win was as spectacular as any. Not to mention his full-on barrel this morning at Trestles, a wave that isn’t really known to give up barrels, ever.
Congratulations Kelly Slater, the 2008 Boost Mobile Pro Champion! On a side note, Kelly was also given the keys to the city of San Clemente tonight at a special beach event hosted by Hurley and Boost Mobile, which saw surfer/musician Timmy Curran perform a free concert as well as a special screening of Bustin’ Down the Door.
Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Final Results:
Kelly Slater (USA) 18.97 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.63
Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.10
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.33 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.50
Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.90 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.10
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.16 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.16
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.57 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.50 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 6.34
Today’s Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Round 4 Results:
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.07 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00
Heat 8: Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.14 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.0