LOWER TRESTLES, California - 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.
“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.”
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Highlights from the Hurley Pro at Trestles will be available via http://www.hurley.com/hurleypro/
The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Quiksilver Pro France from September 25 through October 5th, 2010.
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.13
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.13
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.87 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.43
SF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.67 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.63
ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5 (After Hurley Pro at Trestles):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 40,000 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,500 pts
3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 30,500 pts
4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 30,250 pts
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 29,500 pts