Kelly Slater has conquered his 49th elite tour victory, taking out the Volcom Fiji Pro over Gabriel Medina, in pumping four-to-six foot (1.5–2 metre) surf, at Cloudbreak.
"It’s about time I got him," Slater said. "He had my number in the back half of last year and he’ll probably go on to beat everyone for the next 20 years. He can do it all and I think he proved that to a lot of people this week at Restaurants and out here at Cloudbreak."
Slater and Medina pushed the limits of high-performance surfing at the famed, oceanic lefthander. The Floridian posted his second Perfect 10 of the event, in the Semifinal, for a series of deep tube rides and critical turns.
"That’s probably the best I could surf out here," Slater said. "The barrel and the turn sections just lined up for me and I was able to do what I did. That was a perfect canvas for me."
"I think everyone who competes on tour is here to win," Slater said. "If you’re winning events, then you’re winning world titles. At this point in my career, I’m probably more focused on surfing well though. The waves just pumped today. Some guys win, some guys lose, but everyone is happy if the waves are good."
Slater wasted no time in the Final against his young opponent, grabbing an 8.33 and a 9.83 in the opening half of the bout to put Medina on the ropes. The Brazilian, however, would not back down, claiming an 8.60 to put himself back in the hunt.
"I’m pretty happy with my result," Medina said. "The waves here have been so good all week and it has been a great trip. I haven’t had the best season in terms of results but I’m very happy to make the Final and congrats to Kelly (Slater) – he was surfing amazing all event."
After an absence at the previous event in Rio de Janeiro, Slater’s win in Fiji bolts him up from 8th to 2nd on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Billabong Pro Teahupoo from August 16th–27th, 2012.
Volcom Fiji Pro 2012 | Final
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 18.16
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.87