Kelly Slater has reclaimed the top spot on the ASP World Tour rankings by winning the Hurley Pro Trestles, beating Australian Bede Durbidge on six-foot waves last Saturday at San Clemente’s Lower Trestles giving him his 43rd elite tour victory.
He is now in contention to win an unprecedented 10th ASP world title.
Slater, who was relegated to Round 5 by Australian Owen Wright, 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, Chris Davidson, was too ill to compete.
“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.”
Slater received $105,000 for the victory — the biggest prize purse in surfing history. He also now has a 4,500-point lead over South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who was in first place coming into the Hurley Pro with a slim, 250-point advantage over Slater. Smith, 22, now holds the No. 2 spot.
“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.”
The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Quiksilver Pro France, beginning the 25th September and ending on 5th October.
Good luck to all…