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Kelly Slater One Heat Away

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

kelly slater billabong pro mundaka

That’s all that separates the greatest all-around surfer from an unprecedented 9th world championship. With his Rd. 1 heat victory at the Billabong Pro Mundaka today, Kelly Slater is now sitting just a single heat victory away from officially becoming the 2008 ASP world champion. While Taylor Knox and wildcard contestant Reubyn Ash(as well as many of the other surfers) had a brutal time figuring out the sloppy Sopelana beachbreak, Slater looked right at home in the Florida-esque bump and crumble. His 9.0 wave, which was highlighted by a massive punt, ended up as the overall high score of the day. “Where I surfed, the waves were better,” Slater said. “I had more options. I couldn’t really hear the scores, but once I did I could tell that Taylor was kind of struggling. Then I found a right with a nice open face and a big air section and that was my 9.00.”

Sopelana was messy and all over the place today. But with the forecast showing that Mundaka could be working tomorrow, Contest Director Mike Parsons left the decision to run today in the hands of the surfers. A vote was taken and the majority decided to go ahead an open the event. And why not? With Mundaka expected to come alive tomorrow you know these guys would much rather surf with only one other contestant out there competing for waves.

Action at the Billabong Pro Mundaka is expected to continue tomorrow. Everything is shaping up for the move over to Mundaka. There definitely needs to be a “kudos” sent over to Billabong and Go211 for their smooth webcast. That hasn’t always been the case with the tour this year so it was great to be able to catch the action from a functioning webcast. Stay tuned for more on Kelly’s 9th and the Billabong Pro Mundaka.

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If a Surfing Contest Happens and Nobody Shows Up….(Video)

Monday, September 29th, 2008

….is it still a contest? Here are the first round heat draws as the holding period for the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka gets set to open tomorrow. For whatever the reason, it looks like some of the fellas on tour decided to take a break from this one.

billabong pro mundaka

2008 BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA UPCOMING ROUND 1 HEATS:
(1st & 2nd advance to Round 2; 3rd finishes =33rd)
Heat 1: Kai Otton, Heitor Alves, Aritz Aranburu
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores, Michael Campbell, Ricky Basnett
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan, Pancho Sullivan, Nic Muscroft
Heat 4: CJ Hobgood, Roy Powers, Manoa Drollet
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez, Ben Dunn, Gabe Kling
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza, Jordy Smith, Tim Boal
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson, Tim Reyes, Mark Occhilupo
Heat 8: Kelly Slater, Taylor Knox, Reubyn Ash
Heat 9: Taj Burrow, Damien Hobgood, Marco San Segundo
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge, Tom Whitaker, Hodei Collazo
Heat 11: Luke Stedman, Jay Thompson, Daniel Ross
Heat 12: Chris Ward, Rodrigo Dornelles, Jihad Khodr
Heat 13: Dayyan Neve, Mikael Picon, Leonardo Neves
Heat 14: Dane Reynolds, Tiago Pires, Travis Logie
Heat 15: Fred Patacchia, Daniel Wills, Ben Bourgeois
Heat 16: Kieren Perrow, Royden Bryson, Luke Munro

No Mick, No A.I., No Bruce, No Neco, No Dean-o. Both Neco Padaratz and Dean Morrison are out do to injury. There has been no word on why Mick Fanning won’t be participating in the action in Spain. That is also the case with the Irons brothers, although Bruce stated in France that he was “over it”, and his surfing at the event fully backed that up, Andy no-showed his second round heat at the recent Quik Pro and apparently will not be taking part in Mundaka. With this being a Billabong event and Irons being one of, if not the biggest names to surf for them, him not appearing at the Billabong Pro raises some questions as to why.

Hopefully all is well for the 3x world champion. It’s a shame, when Andy and Mundaka coexist in top form it’s an incredible thing to see-

With both Mick and Andy out of the event, Billabong is left with Kelly Slater, C.J. Hobgood, and the almighty Occy as the only world champions taking part at the Pro Mundaka. Perhaps everyone is just conceding to Kelly, which would be sad. Or maybe there are circumstances around these no-shows that we don’t know about. Whatever the case, the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka is going to be without a few very familiar faces.

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Mundaka Under the Microscope

Monday, September 29th, 2008

“I don’t think we should have an event there. I love the wave, great place, nothing personal, it’s just too frustrating of an event” – Kelly Slater

billabong pro mundaka

Following his almost-victory in France and with all eyes turning to the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka, Kelly let his thoughts be known on holding another ASP event at the fickle Spanish wave. In large part, Kelly was just voicing the thoughts of many when voicing his discontent with the Mundaka competition. The last two years have been anything but spectacular in Spain. This led to rumblings earlier in the year that perhaps the Billabong Pro Mundaka would become the Billabong Pro Somewhere Else. These never really materialized, and Surfline’s Marcus Sanders recently released a great interview with ASP CEO Brodie Carr and ASP Tour Manager Renato Hickel as to the thought process that is currently taking place as far as Mundaka is concerned.

One of the changes that will go to make a difference, as well as one I think should be adopted permanently is the elimination of surfers who place 3rd in the 1st round of heats. This eliminates a full-day’s worth of competition featuring guys with no real shot of winning it, while at the same time allowing the top guys more of a chance to surf during the swell’s peaks. This is ideal for Mundaka, and probably ideal for the other stops on the Dream Tour.

Although most of the tour is in favor of dropping Mundaka from the schedule, you probably won’t hear much of that from Bobby Martinez. Martinez, current world no. 7, has won at Mundaka the past two years. Even so, he is well aware of it’s stinginess at times. “It’s so tough because I just got lucky with waves and my luck is bound to run out sometime so it could be this year,” Martinez said. “Mundaka has been a cool place to me the last couple of years and it will always be cool no matter what happens but I’ve never done good in France and then I’ve done good in Spain so I’m just hoping it’s not the other way around this year since I just did alright in France.”

Stay tuned to 5’s for more updates on the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka, waiting period opens tomorrow-

Top 10 ASP World Tour Ratings going into the Billabong Pro Mundaka:
1. Kelly Slater (USA) – 7852 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) – 6002 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) – 5668 points
4. Adriano De Souza (BRA) – 5426 points
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) – 5373 points
6. Mick Fanning (AUS) – 5310 points
7. Bobby Martinez (USA) – 5092 points
8. CJ Hobgood (USA) – 4880 points
9. Adrian Buchan (AUS) – 4719 points
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA) – 4407 points

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Ace’s Big Day in France

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Adrian “Ace” Buchan couldn’t have scripted it any better himself. To not only make his first ASP World final, but to go on and beat Kelly Slater when all signs pointed toward Kelly walking through the heat on his way to sealing his 9th world championship is something that will stay with the up and coming Aussie surfer for the rest of his life.

ace buchan wins quiksilver pro

He wasn’t supposed to win that heat, Kelly winning #9 at the Quiksilver event was supposed to be the springboard for the chase to #10. Someone forgot to mention that to Ace. “I can’t believe it, to have Kelly in the final and to beat him, I am speechless,” Buchan said. “He is my hero. I have watched him win five events this year – he has just been phenomenal. He sets the bar so high for all of us guys, I am really thankful that surfing has got such a great custodian.”

To but it mildly, Ace Buchan has balls of steel. Before the ‘08 Quiksilver Pro France, Buchan had yet to advance beyond the quarterfinal round in his career on the WCT. On his way to his victory in Hossegor, Ace took down a streaking Dane Reynolds in the quarters, handled a resurgent Damien Hobgood in the semi’s, and then temporarily kept Slater from officially regaining his throne that sits atop the surfing world. “I tried not to think about it paddling out for the final,” Buchan said. “I had visions of him winning the title but I just tried to focus on myself and what I had to do out there – get two really good waves. Luckily Kelly did not get that one at the end.”

Kelly is now relegated to waiting until the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka to seal the deal on 9 and render the rest of the year on tour, as far as world championship races go, completely meaningless. As the closing minutes ticked away toward the end of the 35 minute heat in what becoming sloggy beach-break, it looked like Slater was getting ready to post another come from behind victory. It’s been a year full of them for Kelly, but it just wouldn’t happen for him today and left him with visions of adding an extra five minutes onto the back end of the heat with Buchan.

“It’s cool that it came down to a wave in the end, at least it made it interesting,” Slater said. “Truth is though, Ace was more in sync with it. He got those open face ones and did the turns. I had one wave I surfed pretty good on that I knew was going to get me back in it. Then I just needed a chance in the end but there wasn’t quite enough time – I should have pushed for a 40-minute final.” Needing just a mid-range score to pull of the comeback, Kelly scrambled for one last wave in the closing moments of the heat. However it just wasn’t to be. “Maybe if there would have been a punt section where I could have done a big air I could have possibly gotten the score, but I knew that score wasn’t going to be close. It’s frustrating though, to be so close – literally one score away from winning the title. I guess at this point I’m two heat wins from winning the title.”

All Kelly needs to do is finish 9th or better at Mundaka and the circus begins for his march to a 10th world championship. And while #9 for Slater is inevitable at this point, #1, as far as tour victories go, is nothing but sweet for the man they call Ace.

Final Quiksilver Pro France Results:

Final:
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.74 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.16

Semifinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.90 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.97
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.83

Quarterfinal Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.93 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.40
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.33
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.34
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.34 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.00

Round 4 Quiksilver Pro France Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.50 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 9.33
Heat 2: Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.66 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Mick Campbell (AUS) 14.00 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.17
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.27 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.33
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 10.66
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.57
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.67 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.50

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Slater Almost Wins Again, World Title Races Continues (Kind Of…)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

ace buchan quiksilver pro

While the eventual crowning of Kelly Slater as this year’s ASP World Champion is inevitable, Australia’s Adrian “Ace” Buchan wasn’t about to just sit by and let it happen in France. Buchan topped Slater in the final heat in Hossegor today and won the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France. Buchan finished the final with a score of 15.74 and held off any Slater-esque comebacks to narrowly top Slater’s total of 15.16.

While everyone looked to the Aussies to keep Slater’s 9th on hold, most of us didn’t expect it to be Buchan. This very impressive win vaults him in to the Top 10 of the ASP World Tour rankings and ensures the overall world title race will continue at the upcoming Billabong Pro Mundaka.

Congratulations Adrian “Ace” Buchan, winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France! Stay tuned to 5ones for more info on all of the day’s action at the Quik Pro.

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Durbidge Ousted, Dane Takes Out Jordy at Quiksilver Pro

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

And then there was Taj…

taj burrow and quiksilver pro france

With Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning taking early Rd. 2 exits at the Quiksilver Pro France, Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow were left as the only two surfers who could essentially prevent Kelly Slater from winning his unprecedented 9th world championship in Hossegor. With Bede’s Rd. 3 loss at the hands of Michel Bourez today, Taj is now the only surfer blocking the path to #9 for Kelly if he pulls off the victory at the Quik Pro.

There really wasn’t a whole lot Bede could do as the wildcard Bourez was absolutely on fire throughout their heat. Another one of Tahiti’s amazing surfers looked right at home on on the 3-5 ft. beach break. Bourez posted a near perfect score of 19.57 on his way to ending Durbidge’s run in France.

Taj is continuing to surf as well as he ever has on tour and posted a Rd. 3 victory over Gabe Kling. His surfing appears almost flawless right now and his Firewire boards seem to really be on point and working well for him. It’s almost a shame that he’s performing so well in the same year that Kelly Slater decide to go mental on everyone else.

Speaking of which, Kelly posted another one of his come from behind victories with his win over France’s Joan Duru. Kelly has struggled with the wildcard surfers this year and really had to put in some work to avenge his Rd. 1 loss to Duru. Slater’s run continues with a Rd. 4 match-up against his good friend and fellow long-time tour veteran Taylor Knox.

In a heat that will go a long way in deciding ’08’s Rookie of the Year honors, Dane Reynolds once again took out Jordy Smith in the battle of highly-touted surfing phenoms. Watching these two surf against each other is always exciting and will likely be that way for years to come. While at times on tour it appears that Dane would rather be somewhere else, he really seems to light up for his heats versus Jordy. Hopefully this will be the case for Dane’s Rd. 4 upcoming heat versus Taj.

The swell at Hossegor is forecast to drop slightly, but conditions are actually expected to improve. The word from Quiksilver is that tomorrow will be the final day of competition and a winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France will likely be decided. The way things are looking, we may also have a crowning of the 2008 ASP world champion. Stay Tuned!

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Quiksilver Pro France: Fanning, Parko Make Early Exits

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

quiksilver pro france

It was a fairly brutal day for most of the usual suspects as action got underway at the ‘08 Quiksilver Pro France today. The call was made to run the event this morning as the approaching swell began filling in overnight. Wave size was in the 2-4 ft. range with absolutely beautiful weather conditions (in the morning anyways) in Hossegor.

Although both needed to make it at least to the semifinal round in order to guarantee that Kelly Slater has no chance of clinching the world championship in France, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning find themselves on the outside looking in following surprising Rd. 2 losses.

After falling to rookie-phenom Dane Reynolds in Rd. 1, current world no.4 Joel Parkinson was sent out of the event for good at the hands of Tahitian wildcard surfer Michel Bourez. This took place just moments after seeing fellow Coolie-kid and reigning world champ Mick Fanning be eliminated by injury replacement surfer Gabe Kling in the previous heat. “Mick has been one of my favorite surfers and I can’t really believe that happened,” Kling said. “It was so hard out there and him needing that small of score… I just got lucky but I’ll take it. I’m stoked to win though, he’s a reigning world champion.”

Andy Irons finds himself in a do-or-die Rd. 2 match-up against Brazil’s Jihad Khodr once action resumes tomorrow. It’s still super hard to tell what is going on with the 3x champ from Hawaii. Although the conditions were shifty and inconsistent, the 3x winner of this event threw up a meager 2.34 in a first round heat that saw Jordy Smith make his way to Rd. 3. I’m not gonna lie, A.I. is far and away one of my all-time favorite surfers to watch and is honestly just too damn good of a surfer to perform that way. Maybe he’s ready to go the way of his brother Bruce and resign from full-time WCT status, perhaps there’s an injury or something else going on, but here’s to hoping the only surfer to put fear into the mind of Kelly Slater can get back to the surfing that has made him one of the all-time greats to ever set foot on a board.

Speaking of Slater… he struggled at the beginning as well today, as he went down in his 1st round heat to wildcard contestant Joan Duru. His Rd. 2 match-up versus U.S. Open runner-up Tim Boal saw Slater battling from behind for most of the round. However with a late 9.0 score, Slater moved on to Rd. 3 and kept his hope of clinching #9 in France alive and strong. “This is a tough place for a contest,” Slater said. “It’s really amazing that Andy won this contest three times and got a second the year before that because the waves change so much and it really is the luck of the draw out in those heats. The guy who gets the best waves is going to win and it happens a lot here at this contest.”

And don’t think for a second Kelly doesn’t know right where the race for the world championship stands. Even he admitted the thought of clinching may have been creeping into the back of his mind. “It probably just has my head a little bit – thinking about it,” Slater said. “It’s hard to get that monkey off your back, thinking you had the chance to do something like that. I guess I have been thinking about it a little bit over the last week and I just haven’t gotten in sync so far. That heat I felt pretty good, still not great, but I got a couple of good scores – those lefts panned out for me and allowed me to get a couple big moves.”

With the swell expected to continue increasing, Rd. 2 is likely to resume tomorrow morning. The official call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7:30. You can peep the action HERE.

Here are the rest of today’s results from the Quiksilver Pro France…

Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.67 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.07 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.00
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.67
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 9.44

Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.84, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.06, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 8.6
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.13, Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.2, Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.1
Heat 3: Roy Powers (HAW) 13.6, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.56, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.9
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.97, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.63, Andy Irons (HAW) 2.34
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.40, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 5.83
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.50, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.84, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.50
Heat 7: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.30
Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.50, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.94, Chris Ward (USA) 9.90
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.50, Tim Boal (FRA) 5.77
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.5
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.94, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.67, Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.34
Heat 12: Daniel Wills (AUS) 16.17, Heitor Alves (BRA) 4.74, Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.77
Heat 13: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.80, Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.10
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.63, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.10
Heat 15: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.44
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.66, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.34, Luke Munro (AUS) 7.76

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Possible Saturday Start for Quik Pro, Great Match-Ups for Rd. 1

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

quik pro france

The holding period for the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France officially opened today, however the Atlantic Ocean just wasn’t giving up any love for the French leg of the ASP World Tour. Conditions at Hossegor were about as weak as it possibly gets today. The call for a lay-day was a pretty easy one to make for the event organizers, especially with a solid swell making it’s way there as early as tomorrow. With the possible 3-5 ft. swell on tap for Saturday, last year’s rookie of the year, as well as one of the hometown favorites Jeremy Flores could very well be taking to the water to lead off what is a fantastic 1st round of match-ups scheduled for the Quiksilver Pro.

Kelly Slater will get his march to #9 going in the 8th eat of Rd. 1 as he comes up against San Clemente, Ca. surfer Chris Ward and wild-card contestant Joan Duru from France. Kelly is obviously very aware of what needs to take place in order for him to move onto Mundaka with his 9th world championship in hand. “I know I have to win the event to clinch the title and a second won’t be enough, that’s the math,” Slater said. His past experience and lack of typical Slater success in France makes this an even tougher task for Slater. Slater has only one French ASP World Tour win to his credit 14 years into his career. “It is a great event but I got third place four years in a row which is pretty frustrating,” Slater said. “The first and only time I won here was in 1996, 12 years ago.”

This years U.S. Open of Surfing runner-up, as well as likely full-timer on the ‘09 Dream Tour Tim Boal, also from France, won the Komunity Trials to join Joan Duru and Michel Bourez as the final wildcard into the event. Boal will surf in another heat likely to produce epic surfing when he hoes up against Trestle’s runner-up and current world no.2 Taj Burrow and Huntington Beach phenom Timmy Reyes once action gets underway. Other top heats include Heat 4, featuring Andy Irons and Dane Reynolds, and Heat 7, which features Joel Parkinson and Dane Reynolds.

The official call for the beginning of the ‘08 Quik Pro France will be made tomorrow at 8am local time, stay tuned!

Quiksilver Pro France Heat Draw:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ben Dunn (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Jay Thompson (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Roy Powers (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 4: Andy Irons (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA), Taylor Knox (USA), Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Nic Muscroft (AUS)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Dane Reynolds (USA), Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Chris Ward (USA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Tim Reyes (USA), Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS), Mikael Picon (FRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Bruce Irons (HAW), Heitor Alves (BRA), Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 15: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Pancho Sullivan (HAW), Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS), Royden Bryson (ZAF), Luke Munro (AUS)

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Dream Tour: It’s all but Over

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

ASP World Tour logoThere’s always the battle for which Aussie will end 2008 in the no. 2 spot. You can keep an eye on who will finish in the top 27 and guarantee themselves a spot on the 2009 Dream Tour. Will A.I. finish his less than spectacular year in the Top 10? How will Bruce Irons finish off ‘08 before he heads off to blow minds all over the world? While there are still these, as well as many other story-lines to keep an eye on as the ASP World Tour moves through Europe, Brazil, and then onto it’s year-ending stop at the Pipeline Masters, the crowning of Kelly Slater as the eventual 2009 ASP World Champion is but a mere formality at this point.

Kelly’s narrow victory over Taj Burrow at Trestle’s this week has basically placed King Slater in a position where he pretty much just needs to show-up at the remaining events of the 2008 year in order to lay claim to his 9th world championship. If Slater wins at the next tour stop in France and Taj, Bede Durbidge, Mick Fanning, and Joel Parkinson fail to make it to at least the semi’s, the hype for Kelly going for no. 10 can officially begin before the following event at Mundaka even takes place. However, regardless of whether France is the site of his victory celebration or not, Kelly Slater’s ongoing legend continues to grow as it’s only a matter of time until SL8R becomes SL9R.

ASP World Tour Ratings after event No. 7 of 11 – the Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley.
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 6820 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 5402 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5258 points
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5148 points
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5085 points
6. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 4550 points
7. Bobby Martinez (USA) 4360 points
8. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4280 points
9. Andy Irons (HAW) 4163 points
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 3997 points

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Kelly Slater Wins Again at Trestles

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Kelly Slater Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles Victory

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.

Kelly getting barreled at Trestles

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

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