Kelly Slater: ready for the 10th dream

Kelly Slater (USA), 38, past nine-time ASP World Champion, has taken out the 2010 Hurley Pro at Trestles in flawless six-foot (2 metre) waves over lethal Australian Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27.

Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Hurley Pro at Trestles culminated in stunning fashion today with the iconic Floridian collecting an unprecedented 43rd elite tour victory. Watch the final video highlights.

“What can I say? What a week,” Slater said. “We looked at the swell forecast and Pat (O’Connell) and I were talking, going ‘look what we’re going to get this week.’ I’ve got to thank Bob Hurley and the whole Hurley crew. I think they just brainstormed and put a lot of good ideas together for us. The experience was just awesome.”

Today’s win, his fourth elite tour win at Lower Trestles (2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010), vaults Slater into the ratings’ lead in his hunt for an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title.

“Looking back at my career, I never would have fathomed a ninth title, let alone a 10th,” Slater said. “I don’t know what to say. It’s still a long road ahead. We still have four events and I’m just trying to soak in this win and not even think about everything right now.”

Slater, who was relegated to Round 5 by Australian Owen Wright (AUS), 20, in Round 4, capitalized on the newly-implemented double-elimination round and sprung back with a vengeance after earning a free pass to the Quarterfinals after his opponent, Davidson, was too ill to compete.

“I think the new format is good for the fans,” Slater said. “They get to see us surf a little more and it was definitely a different mindset for me paddling out yesterday. I was kind of just having fun. I was out there to have a good time and I sort of realized at the halfway mark that I was in a heat. I feel like I sort of blew that heat, but it’s a bonus. If you win you get a round off and if you lose you get to surf again. I think it’s good overall. It does make us surf once more than we would normally, but I don’t mind out here.”

Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, who defeated Slater at this event in 2006, was unable to repeat the magic this year, but was ultimately thankful for his Runner-Up finish.

“I’ve got a baby on the way, so it was really good to get a result here,” Durbidge said. “I can’t compete in Portugal. This was an important comp for me. Congrats go to Kelly (Slater). He’s the man out here and his record is second to none and he’s so dangerous. It was good to make the Final. I’m stoked.”

Durbidge’s charge to the Final was no easy task however, as the current ASP World No. 8 ousted current ASP World No. 2 Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, in their Quarterfinals matchup and Dane Reynolds (USA), 25, in the Semifinals before falling to Slater in the Final.

“Trestles is just a really fun wave and everyone rips out here,” Durbidge said. “I think putting a bit of pressure on everyone early can make them crumble. That was my plan, but it didn’t work for Kelly. I just did what it took to get through the heats. I had a tough draw there and Dane (Reynolds) and Jordy (Smith) didn’t have the best heats against me, so that was a bonus and I’m happy I made the Final.”

Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion and defending event winner, was near flawless throughout the Hurley Pro at Trestles, consistently netting high scores with unrivalled speed and power. However, the Australian’s form fell short in his Semifinal against eventual winner Slater, as he finished Equal 3rd and moved up to No. 5 on the ASP World Title Race rankings.

“I don’t know – when Kelly (Slater) tried to pull those silly tricks, it made my brain explode and it sort of took me too long to get my head back together,” Fanning said. “It’s all good. It’s a good start to the leg and hopefully I can keep getting through heats. I’m just going to keep having fun and hopefully keep improving my surfing and hopefully keep pushing.”

Dane Reynolds, current ASP World No. 4, continued to exhibit his brand of mind-blowing, progressive surfing at Lower Trestles. A consistent high-scorer throughout the event, Reynolds failed to surpass Durbidge in their Semifinal bout, but remained grateful at the opportunity to surf waves of such quality.

“I was tired but that didn’t come in to play,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes, if I can’t picture how I’m going to surf a wave, I just get baffled. That happened in that Taj (Burrow) heat too in South Africa. I just lose the picture. It was a ton of fun to surf Trestles like this. As soon as the heat was over it was super fun again. I felt like I could surf again.”

Jordy Smith, into his third season on the elite ASP World Tour, was one of the form surfers of the event this year. However, after suffering two broken boards yesterday, the young South African was unable to overcome Durbidge in the Quarterfinals. With his Equal 5th place finish, Smith retains the ASP World No. 2 spot heading into the European leg.

“It was a tough one,” Smith said. “I broke two of my best boards ever yesterday and paddled out on a plug and it didn’t go so well. You have heats like that. You can’t win everyone. I think this year I’ve relaxed a lot more. I don’t put as much pressure out on myself. In years prior, I was a little arrogant and got ahead of myself and would surf brand new boards in heats. This year is different for me, and now I’m just focused on Europe.”


1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.13
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.13

Tasmania: waves are huge here

Sydney surfers are expecting huge waves to hit the shore during the weekend, as a low pressure system passes by Australia.

The four-meter southerly swell will hit the coast and everyone is expecting six to eight foot waves in the coastal city.

Beginners should not paddle in, as they might get caught in the building sets. Meanwhile, Tasmania is recording 10-to-18-metre waves, in one of the biggest weeks ever.

In 1985, a wave of 19.83 meters was recorded during a storm in the west coast of this region. Check out the Wave Height Forecast for Australia.

Mick Fanning: focused and listening to good music

Clean four-to-six foot (2 metre) waves pumped through the lineup at Lower Trestles today with the greatest assemblage of surfing talent in history unloading a barrage of high-fi performances as the Hurley Pro at Trestles completed Rounds 3 and 4.

Event No. 6 of 10 on 2010 ASP World Tour, the Hurley Pro at Trestles is the first event in history to activate the new 36-man competitive format, including the non-elimination three-man Round 4, and today’s experience proved a resounding success.

Owen Wright (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 10, scored one of the greatest comebacks in ASP history today, vaulting past former nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 38, and C.J. Hobgood (USA), 31, in the last three minutes of their Round 4 bout.

“The start of the heat was really tough for me,” Wright said. “I was out of rhythm and the other guys were catching all of the waves. I was kind of stuck in a rut. Then that set came through and I got started. C.J. (Hobgood) paddled for one and just missed it and I paddled wide and a bomb set came to me. It was the best wave I’ve ever caught out there. It was just such a smooth wave, it actually felt like Bells.”

With the activation of the new 36-man competition format, Wright’s Round 4 victory advances the young goofy-footer directly into the Quarterfinals while Slater and Hobgood will have to battle through Round 5.

“I’m really stoked to get through to the Quarterfinals,” Wright said. “I’m guaranteed a 5th at least and I’m pretty stoked with that. I’ll definitely be looking to go a bit further. I feel like this wave really suits me, but it suits everyone as well, so I’ve just got to keep doing my thing and hopefully we keep getting perfect waves like that again tomorrow.”

Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, reigning ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 6, was in lethal form today, surgically dismantling several Lowers righthanders while taking out an impressive Round 4 heat, hosted in a flurry of high-quality sets.

“The three-man Round 4 is way gnarlier,” Fanning said. “I went out there and I was thinking ‘yeah, just stick to your game plan,’ but everything happened so fast. We had sets the whole time and there were three guys that I knew could get big scores. I knew anyone could win, it was pretty much just whoever surfed the best. It was fun, but it was really nerve wracking though.”

Fanning’s Round 4 victory saw the defending event champion move directly through to the Quarterfinals while forcing Kieren Perrow (AUS), 33, and Chris Davidson (AUS), 33, to Round 5 in the process.

“I’m into the Quarterfinals now, I have a result,” Fanning said. “The lowest you want is the Quarters and when you lose at this stage in the game it sort of plays with your head a little bit. You start wondering if you have to change anything, anyone one of those guys you come up against in Round 5, that’s an extremely hard round.”

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 1, blasted a series of progressive maneuvers including two airs on a steep righthand wall to amass one of the highest single-wave scores of the event, an impressive 9.60 out of 10 to eliminate American rookie Brett Simpson (USA), 25, in Round 3.

“I’m just relaxing and having fun with everything,” Smith said. “The waves are absolutely pumping. I don’t think I’ve surfed Lower Trestles like this in forever, so just to be out there surfing with a friend is a good enough achievement in itself.”

After falling to Simpson in the Final of the ASP PRIME U.S. Open of Surfing, Smith was satisfied to win the rematch against the Californian at the Hurley Pro at Trestles.

“It felt good to get one back on him,” Smith said. “To lose a hundred grand at the U.S. Open is a pretty big knock to the chin, and just to make one more round here is cool.”

Smith would continue his momentum through the afternoon, winning his Round 4 heat, but breaking two boards in the process.

Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, current ASP World No. 3, tore into today’s idyllic conditions, dominating his Round 3 heat before posting an impressive win in Round 4.

“I’d have to say that’s the most rippable surf I’ve ever been in for contest, free surf, anything,” Burrow said. “It’s as good as it gets for turns – it doesn’t get any better. I can’t believe our luck. Whoever wins this thing has really earned it because you have to go so mad to get a score.”

Dane Reynolds (USA), 25, current ASP World No. 4, is one of the surfers capable of ‘going mad’ at Lower Trestles as the young Californian posted the highest heat total of the event, an 18.50 out of a possible 20, for an incredible display of progressive surfing in Round 3.

“I’m a big fan of watching good surfing, especially the risky stuff,” Reynolds said. “Jordy (Smith) pulls out ‘Supermans’ in heats all of the time and I’ve never tried one in my entire life. There’s a fine line between a ‘Superman’ being like ‘eeehhhh’ and that one was really nice, so it was good to see. I hate being first heat because I like to watch everyone surf and have these guys getting my psyched up.”

Reynolds was unable to advance through his afternoon Round 4 heat, and will face Damien Hobgood (USA), 31, in Round 5 of competition tomorrow morning.

Heat 1:Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 2:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 3:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 4:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)

QF 1:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBA
QF 2:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBA
QF 3:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBA
QF 4:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBA