Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Slater’
November 8th, 2010
The Rip Curl Pro Search event of 2010 will never be forgotten. Just a few days after the tragic passing of surf icon Andy Irons, Kelly Slater won his 10th ASP World Title and then later in the day won the event itself. The display of surfing that Kelly put on only emphasized his class and quality, beating Adriano de Souza in the Quarter Finals before the Brazilian had even ridden a wave.
SOMEWHERE, Porta Del Sol/Puerto Rico (Friday, November 5, 2010) – Kelly Slater (USA), 38, has made sporting history today, claiming an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title at Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico.
With his advancement out of the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico over Adriano de Souza (BRA), 23, Slater amassed enough points to move out of reach remaining contender Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, and collect the 2010 ASP World Title, culminating a 20-year effort.
“I don’t know, it just happened,” Slater said. “If you look at the heat, Adriano (De Souza) passed one up and let me have it and that was a good wave and that was pretty much it a few minutes into the heat. I just want to send my condolences to Irons family. It’s been a week of extremes for me. If it wasn’t for Andy (Irons) there is no way I’d be here in this position right now. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I want to dedicate this to Andy and to my family.”
Andy Irons (HAW), 32, former three-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World Tour competitor, tragically passed away last Tuesday in transit back home from Puerto Rico. The iconic Hawaiian’s unexpected passing has been a devastating blow to the international sporting community.
“I had the 3rd at Teahupoo and Jordy got the 17th, at the time I really wanted to win that event and pull into the lead, but having Andy (Irons) win that contest was really special,” Slater said. “I surfed a last heat with him this year and to get past everybody at Trestles, I know the level is pretty much going through the roof every year. The stuff that Dane (Reynolds) and Jordy (Smith) pull off at every event, everyone is trying to catch on and their strike rate is so high, their consistency is so high. When I got into the lead after Trestles, I didn’t really feel that confident going into France. It was a wave-catching contest at first, but then it got big and I thought ‘this is my zone, this is where I do well and this is what I love.’ The points all started coming together just right for me. To get past Jordy (Smith) in the Final in Portugal, I knew something special was happening.”
“I decided to go for 10 (ASP World Titles) when a friend asked me if I’d decided to win 10 yet after a few contests into this year,” Slater said. “I told him ‘yeah, okay.’ That was right before Brazil. At that point I knew I could do it, but Taj (Burrow) looked good to start the year, but to me it looked like Jordy (Smith) was the guy early on. Mick (Fanning) had a lot of ninths and he knows he’s not going to win a title with ninths. Besides Jordy’s 17th, his worst result was the Quarters, so I knew there was no room for error. These last five events have really come together. I don’t really know how it came together the way it did.”
Slater, who spent a large portion of his youth in Puerto Rico, had a huge support crew of family and friends on hand to witness the incredible feat as well as the support of the tens of thousands in attendance on the beach.
“It’s nice to win this in Puerto Rico with my friends and family here,” Slater said. “I haven’t been surfing here on this part of the island since ’88 and I used to come here a lot. This was like a second home to me. It was like my little Hawaii. I used to come here in the winter and I have a lot of good friends from here. It’s the closest event ever to my home, so it feels like home.”
October 27th, 2010
The waiting period for the Rip Curl Pro Search is due to start on Saturday with Kelly Slater firmly in the driving seat for another ASP world title. If he goes ahead and wins #10 then the debate about his place among the worlds greatest ever athletes will surely intensify.
For Slater to clinch his historic 10th ASP Crown at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico, the following scenarios must occur:
- If Slater finishes Equal 3rd or better, he clinches the 2010 ASP World Title.
- If Slater finishes Equal 5th or Equal 9th, Smith must win the event to send the ASP World Title Race to Hawaii.
- If Slater finishes Equal 13th or Equal 25th, Smith must finish Equal 3rd or better to send the ASP World Title Race to Hawaii.
- Essentially, if Smith fails to finish higher than Equal 5th, Slater claims the 2010 ASP World Title.
As long as the waves play along and the guys get some decent conditions we can sit back and watch history being made, which is not something you can say very often.
Of course, Slater isn’t the only surfer in Puerto Rico with the chance of making history. Stephanie Gilmore is leading the points race for the women’s world title and is going for an unprecedented 4th title in a row. If she finishes 3rd or better and Sally Fitzgibbons fails to win then Gilmore gets #4.
Maybe a few late night webcast viewings from here in the UK and can’t wait for it all to get started.
September 4th, 2010
TEAHUPOO, Taiarapu/Tahiti (Friday, September 3, 2010) – Andy Irons (HAW), 32, past three-time ASP World Champion, has won the Billabong Pro Tahiti, besting C.J. Hobgood (USA), 31, in an explosive Final clash in three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves at Teahupoo.
The fifth stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti culminated in climactic fashion today, on the final day of the waiting period.
The emphatic victory marks Irons’ 20th at the elite level of competition, and the Hawaiian was emotional when regarding his first win in over three years (won Rip Curl Pro Search Chile 2007).
“I did it!” Irons exclaimed. “I surf because I have to put my jersey on some time. I took a lot of losses, but I put in the hard work too. I dedicate this win 100% to my wife, Lindy, she is everything to me and without her, I’d be nothing. I really, really like competing because I love to win and I feel on top of the world today. I surf because I love to win. I love this feeling.”
Irons, who bested reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, lethal rookie Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 24, and past nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 38, en route to the Final, opened up with a massive, freefall wipeout before utilizing his unparalleled backhand tube-riding skills to net a 14.67 out of a possible 20 and collect the win.
“He (Hobgood) paddled me inside and caught the first wave,” Irons said. “The next wave was better and I just fell out of the sky. I thought my board was going to break. It has two buckles on it already. I just went after it out there. C.J. is so dangerous here. I knew he would be getting tens or twos, and I was lucky it was twos today.”
With today’s victory, Irons moves from No. 18 to No. 7 on the ASP World Title Race rankings, a monumental feat that sees the powerful Hawaiian well inside the ASP Top 10.
“I feel like I’m back,” Irons said. “I have to thank ASP for giving me the wildcard back here. My whole dream was to come back and just win one contest, and I’ve done that now. I want more. And to win at Teahupoo, it’s my favourite wave in the world. It’s a very special win.
Hobgood, one of the premiere tuberiders in the world, was unable to find his way out of multiple barrels in the Final bout against Irons and was reflective in terms Runner-Up finish in Tahiti.
“I had good waves that I could have got the score on and I tried a little harder than I had to,” Hobgood said. “My highest score was only an 8 through every heat leading up to this one and I hadn’t had a breakout performance. No one to blame but myself. I’m stoked all the same though. After the heat, I told Andy ‘there’s a lot of people pulling for you, including myself.’ It’s emotional and you take what you can from it.”
Today’s finish at the Billabong Pro Tahiti vaults the past ASP World Champion (2001) from No. 22 to No. 15 in the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title heading into the next tour stop in Southern California.
“I’ve been in four finals out here and I don’t remember the years I got second,” Hobgood said. “Still, it’s a huge result for me, and I had the opportunity out there. I finally got the monkey off my back this season and I hope I can build on this moving forward.”
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, posted the best result of his young career, finishing Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pro Tahiti before going down to Hobgood in the Semifinals. The result jumps the young natural-footer from 24th to 19th on the ASP World Title Race rankings, an excellent position heading into Lower Trestles and home to Europe.
“I had priority the last five minutes and a set came that was my chance, but it wasn’t the wave I needed,” Flores said. “The barrel was really small inside. C.J. (Hobgood) is an excellent surfer and he’s very smart. He surfed a smart heat. Still though, it’s great for me, and I’m excited for the next event.”
Kelly Slater (USA), 38, past nine-time ASP World Champion, looked the form surfer of the day, scoring the event’s first and only Perfect 10 in the Quarterfinals for an incredible freefall layback barrel.
“It’s been a while (since getting a 10),” Slater said. “That was probably the best wave of the day. I looked at the first one, and I was surprised Ace (Adrian Buchan) went on the first one. The second one usually sucks out more and is more hollow. I was a little bit far back when I was paddling, and when I turned around to go, the wind was pushing me back. So I really had to overcompensate once I got to the bottom and finally set my edge. It was a good one though.”
Despite the Semifinal loss to Irons, Slater moves from 3rd to 2nd on the ASP World Title Race rankings, a mere 250 points behind frontrunner Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22.
“I’m up there pretty close,” Slater said. “Going all the way to J-Bay and getting 17th makes me wish I had stayed home. You lose confidence and waste time on planes. That’s the way it goes – you have good events and bad events. This one has been pretty good though. The waves haven’t been good, but we’ve seen a lot of cool things. We’ve seen the young guys really step up and we’ve seen Andy (Irons) come back and put one together.”
Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti will be available via http://www.billabongpro.com/tahiti10/
The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Hurley Pro Trestles in Southern California from September 12 – 18, 2010.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com