Kelly Slater: the beauty of 40

Clean four-to-six foot (1.5–2 metre) waves pumped Bells Bowl for another day of splendid surfing performances. The shocker? Taj Burrow is out of the 51st Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach after being defeated in Round 3 by his fellow Australian Kai Otton.


Joel Parkinson defending Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, proved the most dominant surfer of the day, posting the day's high 18.94 out of a possible 20 for an electric show of surfing.

 "I had a blast," Parkinson said. "I wish that heat went for an hour. Freddy (Patacchia) was saying it was the best Bells he's ever surfed in a heat. I've had it a lot better, but it was solid and pumping and I had so much fun."
 
Kelly Slater, four-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, posted an incredible Round 3 win this morning over local wildcard Nic Muscroft. After suffering a broken board mid-heat, Slater required an excellent score with the clock winding down.

Stroking into a wave with seconds left, the iconic Floridian wrenched a number of solid outside turns before punctuating with a massive air reverse on the final section.
 
"Just to finish that wave I was happy," Slater said. "I thought, if Nic (Muscroft) won then great. We've had great heats over the years. That was one that was a full battle back and forth mentally".

"Nic got cleaned up by 20 waves and the sets stopped when he got out and then he broke his board and I didn't capitalize on those sets. I hadn't finished a good one midway through the heat and then he came back really well".

"I never had any great waves overall. Luckily I got one with about 8 seconds left. I had the carve to start and it went a little dead until the end. The lip launched me perfectly in the air and had a good cushion to land on. I thought it'd be close either way".
 
Not to be outdone by Parkinson and Slater, Mick Fanning, former Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner (2001), was in sizzling form throughout both his Round 3 and 4 heats, posting an 18.46 and an 18.20, firmly cementing himself as the form surfer of the day.
 
"It's always great to surf Bells with no one out," Fanning said. "I'm just stoked because after a few waves, I was wondering, ‘do we play tactics or just catching waves.'"

"We just traded off waves and Raoni surfed good. With someone like him, who can posts 9s, it's still a little nerve wracking and I'm happy to make it through that round. It's a crucial one to get through."

RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.87, John John Florence (HAW) 15.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.93
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.10, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.64
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.20, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.83, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.33
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.27, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.60, Brett Simpson (USA) 7.00