Written by:Emily Bates
History was made at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California today as reigning champion, Kelly Slater (USA), won the Hurley Pro at Trestles for the sixth time, the third consecutive win for the event. This was Slater’s 50th world tour win, in 4 – 6ft and overhead sets at the A-frame wave he has been surfing since he was 12-years-old.
Lower Trestles was most definitely the place to be today as waves were pumping into the fierce one-on-one heats of the Hurley Pro 2012.
It all came down to one final heat, where Kelly Slater (USA) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) met face to face to battle for the win. The conditions let down a bit though during their heat, making it difficult for both competitors to find waves. Slater still looked strong despite the conditions, ripping apart every wave he paddled into. Slater performed on a four-fin quad surfboard and checked off his 6th event title win at Lower Trestles.
“I know I went out there feeling like I didn’t have anything to lose because Parko (Joel Parkinson) was the form guy,” Slater said. “He was pretty much the standout in every round. He schooled (Gabriel) Medina yesterday somehow and was combo’ing everybody. I just figured I had to get myself on the best waves and let go a little bit, but it got really quiet out there. It was the first time something really felt like it went my way when they (the judges) took my priority away. By the time they announced it, Joel was above the wave and couldn’t catch it. That was the turning point for me. Every contest I’ve won, there’s some moment where things go my way.”
With the win, Slater edged his way into 3rd on the ASP WCT ratings and plans on maintaining his momentum into the European series of competition.
“I knew that heat would either make or break me for the year,” Slater said. “I would have let Parko have those extra 2,000 points if he’d one and it would look very different on the ratings. It’s nice heading into Europe. I feel like I’ve had so many good years at Lowers and the pressure is really on every year to make the Final – I feel like it’s been like that since I’ve been on tour. It’s cool to win the 50th here. I won my first event as a pro here and it’s great to get this win.”
Though Joel Parkinson didn’t come out in first, he proved to be the “man to beat” throughout the entire event, consistently posting high scores each round. Parko was on fire until the last heat when the usual set waves weren’t rolling through.
“A Final is a good result,” Parkinson said. “Tahiti kind of hurt a lot. I felt like I was on a bit of a good one this week. It was all going well. Every time I paddled out I had a lot of waves and Kelly (Slater) had those heats where he had no waves and I was thinking, ‘my mojo is stronger.’ Sure enough, it was a slow one. It was one of those ones where you feel like you’re on point all week and Mother Nature just lets you down.”
Completing the event in 3rd place, Mick Fanning (AUS) tore a part the perfect Lowers walls with intricate combinations, but wasn’t able to find his rythm against 11x World Champion Kelly Slater in the semi-finals.
“Even when he had those first two waves, I was confident that I could come back if the waves came,” Fanning said. “It just stopped. That’s the nature of our game. You can’t really fight back if there is nothing there and I sort of thought after I didn’t break the combo with that one wave, I was thinking there had to be a flurry or it was pretty much done.”
After taking home the win just a few weeks before in Tahiti, Fanning knew very well what was at stake for the Hurley Pro 2012.
“Kelly (Slater) and I both knew what was going on and if I got on top from there it would have just been further away,” Fanning said. “He surfed a really smart heat and threw caution to the wind and it paid off. I was just unlucky. The ocean didn’t really cooperate with me, but a third is a keeper. It’s another result I don’t have to worry about and I learned a lot of things at this event.”
ASP WCT No. 5, Adriano de Souza was the final Brazilian competitor making it through to the semifinals. Parkinson’s intense heat scores kept De Souza from the win, though already taking out Gabriel Medina (BRA).
“I had a nice heat against Gabriel (Medina) a few months ago at the US Open and he beat me,” De Souza said after his Quarterfinals win. “Gabriel’s such a good guy and a good competitor, he’s going to battle for the world title soon and I just got lucky. I was trying to find a few waves at the beginning to put pressure on him.”
For more Heat Highlights check out the videos below!
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.27 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.34
SF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.26 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.43
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.50
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.93
QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.16 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.04
QF 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 11.60
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.90 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.76
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.44
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.93 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.57
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.30 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.57