Seriously. Has there ever been an athlete like him? He’s been a world champion for Owen Wright’s ENTIRE LIFE, and he’s still winning. See below story for infographic on Slater’s career.
Kelly Slater is 39 years old. A few hours ago he won his fifth Hurley Pro at Trestles title, defeating Owen Wright, who is 21.
Slater and Wright’s third consecutive final bout marks a first in ASP history, as no two competitors have faced off in three successive ASP Dream Tour Finals – a noteworthy statistic in sparking this new rivalry in the battle for the ASP World Title. As Owen looks to become the first surfer to truly inspire a genuine rivalry with Kelly since Andy Irons a decade ago, you have to wonder what’s going through the minds of surfers like Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson, incredible talents who must now be wondering if their time to make a run at a world title has passed. Julian Wilson, 22, was also a standout throughout the Hurley Pro at Trestles, earning the highest single-wave score of 9.80 as well as the second-highest heat-total of 18.23 in his Quarterfinals win over Joel Parkinson, 30, and consistently unloaded some of the most progressive maneuvers of the contest. “I had a bit of fire after yesterday, not against Joel (Parkinson), but just to show that I could beat him,” Wilson said after his Quarterfinal win. “I’ve dreamed about surfing against Joel and Mick (Fanning) my whole life and yesterday gave me a lot of confidence to go against him today.”
Julian got off to a slow start in his Semifinals matchup against Owen after an interference and was unable to rebound, finishing equal third overall. Wilson now sits at No. 11 on the ASP World Title Rankings.
What was most interesting about Slater’s performance is how relevant it was. It helps that Trestles is such a great wave for high performance surfing, but Kelly won by mixing trademark carves with a consistent display of new-school airs.
“Owen (Wright) is tough and he’s been surfing great,” Slater said. “There really are no weak points to his surfing and he’s going to be a standout in every spot. A lot of the guys tried to get him this week and I got lucky in that last exchange. I was taking the first wave of the set under his priority and once I got priority I wanted to wait. It almost looked like there wasn’t a wave after Owen’s. It’s been fun surfing against Owen and surfing Lowers.”
Wright, current No. 2 on the ASP World Title rankings, has continued to build momentum throughout his sophomore year amongst the ASP Top 34 and dispatched of a rampaging Mick Fanning, 30, and rookie prodigy Julian Wilson, 22, en route to his rematch against Slater, but was unable to solidify the victory over the veteran in the Final.
“I’ve been enjoying the rivalry,” Wright said. “We’ve had some great heats and the last three finals have been great. I’m glad the sets came through at the end. It was a bit of a dud final but I’m glad that last exchange came though at the end. It made it exciting.”
Heitor Alves (BRA), 29, who finished equal 5th in New York, continued his giant killing spree at the Hurley Pro Trestles, defeating ASP World Title campaigners Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, before falling to Slater in the Semifinals to earn his career best result of an equal 3rd place finish.
Alves’ performance moves him from No. 20 to 14 on the ASP World Title Rankings.
Highlights from the Hurley Pro at Trestles are available via http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro
The next stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season will be the Quiksilver Pro France from October 4 – 13, 2011.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES FINAL RESULT:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.40 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 16.57
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.74 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.04
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.50
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.60 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.07
QF 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.67 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.23 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.93
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.74 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.80
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.97
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.23 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.27
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.37
Current Top 10 on the ASP WORLD TITLE RANKINGS AFTER HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 44,950 pts.
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 39,900
3 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 35,400
4 – Adriano de Souza (BRA)31950
5 – Josh Kerr (AUS)30,800
6 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 29,250
7 – Mick Fanning (AUS)28,200
8 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)27,500
9 – Jeremy Flores (FRA)23,700
10 – Michel Bourez (PYF) 22,250
Infographic originally seen in issue 17 of Pop Magazine