Slater survives Round 2 in thundering surf

December 14, 2014 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: blinded by the spray | Photo: ASP/Cestari

Kelly Slater displayed a magical surfing performance in Round 2 of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters, to keep his world title hopes alive and fresh, in the world's most famous Hawaiian arena.

The repechage heats were run in dangerous double-to-triple overhead surf. It was heavy out there. Despite a slow start, Slater managed to ride the highest single-wave score of the day - a near-perfect, deep and hollow tube punctuated by a wraparound cutback and a chop hop.

"It's was really challenging and really hard today. I just figured if I'm going to win this contest, which I have to do to win the title, I've got to get through the best guys. In all honesty, Reef is one of the best guys out here from 4 feet to 20 feet and whatever size it is," expressed Slater.

"I thought to myself, there are only five minutes left, don't blow this opportunity and just make the right decision. When I bottom turned I saw this huge foam ball right in my line and I just went 'God, I hope that thing disperses as it pitches,' and luckily it did and it had a nice little face on it afterwards."

Jordy Smith had to exit the water early during his Round 2 heat after a Backdoor closeout tube slammed him into the reef injuring his shoulder. Aritz Aranburu was rescued in the impact zone by the jet ski while his snapped board ricocheted wildly behind them.

Meanwhile, a few surfers have already lost their spots on the 2015 World Surf League. Tiago Pires, Dion Atkinson, Mitch Crews, Raoni Monteiro, Aranburu failed to requalify and will have to restart their careers on the Qualifying Series. Having previously announced his retirement, Travis Logie surfed the last heat of his professional career.

2014 Billabong Pipe Masters | Round 2 Results

Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00; def. Reef McIntosh (HAW) 7.00;
Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.33; def. Makai McNamara (HAW) 4.57;
Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.30; def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 4.30;
Nat Young (USA) 8.50; def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 4.77;
Miguel Pupo (BRA) 7.17; def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 4.13;
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.64; def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 7.07;
Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.47; def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 1.30;
Kai Otton (AUS) 7.16; def. Brett Simpson (USA) 6.83;
Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 6.90; def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 1.57;
Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.70; def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 2.73;
Julian Wilson (AUS) 4.50; def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 0.84;
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.13; def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 3.24;

2014 Billabong Pipe Masters | Round 3 Matchups

John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Kolohe Andino (HAW) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

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