Kelly Slater: eyes on the water

Kelly Slater, Owen Wright, Joel Parkinson and Adriano de Souza are through to the Quarter-Finals of the 2011 Hurley Pro Trestles, after a full day of surfing in California. Parkinson secured the day’s highest heat-total of 18.06 (out of 20).
 
“Julian’s wave wave was sick,” Parkinson said. “I don’t know what to say about it though, I’m a purist. That wave of mine was a long wave, my legs were burning at the end. Me and Julian were hassling and I thought ‘I don’t care if I get an interference or not, I’m losing anyway.’ Mick got that wave before it too, that was a great heat.”
 
Owen Wright had to lock in to a long Lowers right with just minutes remaining in the matchup against John John Florence, a 9-point wave, to secure one of the highest scores of the event to advance through to Round 4. Wright went on to eventually advance directly through to the Quarterfinals with a Round 4 heat win as well.

“John John’s got a massive future ahead of him and I’d really like to take my hat off to him,” Wright said. “He really took it to me and surfed really well. I fell on a couple and then I got one and rode it all the way down and pulled through. I knew it was definitely a 9 and felt like I hit every section in the sweet spot. Backside surfing is hard out there today and I’ll take it. I‘ve got a bit more to drive for with the World Title on the line and it pulled me through. It’s just not a round 3 heat for me out there.”

Kelly Slater had tough jobs. The reigning 10-Time ASP World Champion and four-time defending Hurley Pro at Trestles winner was in tune with both the lefts and rights on offer at Lowers Today and displayed a variety of carves and airs to take a commanding win over veteran campaigner Tom Whitaker (AUS), 31, in Round 3 before taking his Round 4 heat as well.
 
“I felt good and just rode that board for the first time last night and it feels good,” Slater said. “We had a good flurry to start that heat, I wanted to out point him on that first exchange and get priority because he’s really smart and I know his game. Tommy’s going to put himself on the best waves and I tried to get a good start on him if I could.”
 
“This round’s real critical to get through,” Slater said. “You can open up in the next round (Round 4) and that last heat was a real crucial heat to get through. You get two chances to make it through to the Quarters but that Round 3 is critical.”
 
Adriano de Souza kept his hopes of an ASP World Title alive today and went ballistic to defeat high-flying countrymen Jadson Andre (BRA), 21, in Round 3 and carried his momentum through to the afternoon. “I’m sad to beat Jadson (Andre), he smashed it yesterday,” De Souza said. “He’s one of the best guys out there, but I need the result to improve my seed. I’m sad for Jadson, but I’m also happy to make it through.”
 
Taj Burrow was relegated to Round 5 this afternoon and is hungry to take out a victory at Lowers this year.
 
“I’ve had two seconds here and I’ve got to just rip until the end,” Burrow said. “Kelly (Slater) seems to do it pretty well. He’s got the formula down for winning. You don’t have to be the best surfer throughout the whole event, you’ve just got to win each heat. He just knows how to win and I’ve been studying him and I’m just going to try and do what he does because he’s really good at it.”