- 11 April 2012 | Surfing
The year has changed, but the world surfing rankings still reveal the same old game. Kelly Slater leads the 2012 ASP World Tour title race with his runner-up finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
The 11-time Floridian champion was on fire at Australia's famed righthand pointbreak and even posted a flawless 10-point ride for a monster full-rotation 360 air in the event's final.
"I was moving around trying to get active and I was just finding my feet," Slater said. "I knew Mick (Fanning) was going to be real patient. I knew he got that start and then I tried to talk to him and he put his serious head on and pissed me off, so I thought I'd throw a big rotator on him and it wasn’t enough. That was pretty exciting for me".
"Even when he had the 9 and 8-something, I had a feeling I was in it. I felt like something good was going to come my way and it started to. I had one more chance and that was about it. I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle with the waves out there, with the long intervals and long lulls, but that's just the way it goes."
Slater is coupling his runner-up finish at Bells Beach with an equal 5th place finish at the season opening Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, giving him a 1,200 point lead over current ASP World Championship Tour No. 2, Adriano de Souza, from Brazil.
The next event on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Billabong Rio Pro in Brazil from May 9 through 20, 2012.