Kelly Slater: unlucky, but then lucky boy

Kelly Slater (USA), 38, former nine-time ASP World Champion, survived a closely-contested Round 3 heat against rookie phenom Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, to advance through to Round 4. Slater, who spent the day in hospital getting scans on his right foot (inflamed ligaments suspected), battled back after Payne secured an excellent 9.17 out of a possible 10.

"I woke up this morning and I couldn't walk so for me it was all an upside today," Slater said.

"I expected to go out there and lose. Instead, I got out there and figured out I could surf, but then Dusty (Payne) got that 9. I didn't see what he did, but apparently it was something big and I was sort of scanning out the back. With 10 minutes remaining, I had priority so I was just hoping for a long flat spell or just one wave. I got a couple of scores, kept it efficient and came away with the win."

Slater will face Michel Bourez (PYF), 24, in Heat 8 of Round 4 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

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