The two most informed surfers met in the final of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal as Felipe Toledo met Italo Ferreira in an all Brazillian final. The waves on the final day were far from epic but the performances in the final were stellar to say the least. Some of the best airs ever witnessed in competitive surfing came from both Felipe and Italo. In the end Felipe edged the rookie for his 3rd WSL victory in 2015.
The internet has been blowing up with debates about whether or not Kelly Slater deserved a higher score than 4.17 for a 360 reverse air he did in his Round 5 heat against Mick Fanning.
You be the judge, Does Slater deserve a higher score?
Does Slater Actually Pull this Back-side 360 Reverse?
When Slater went in the air and emerged from the white-wash back on his board, the crowd erupted. Then the announcer said the score came in at a 4.17. The crowd immediately began booing.
How could the judges score such an amazing maneuver so low?
Well he fell and then got back to his stomach and stood back up. The judges considered it an incomplete maneuver even though it looked so incredible. There is clearly a fine line between what the crowd likes and what the judges consider a completed move. Many people believe the wave was still scored low. I believed he would get somewhere between a 6 and 7, so I too thought it was scored low, but even at a 7 Fanning would have beat Slater.
Slater and Ross Williams Sit Down to Discuss the Air and the Score
Owen Wright – The big guy is one of my favorites but for the money I am sitting him. I expect to him somewhere between round 5 and the quarters.
Julian Wilson – He surfs waves of any size well so he is a pretty good pick. I see him somewhere between the Quarters and the Finals.
Filipe Toledo – This man is ranked 4th in the world right now and if the last day is head high or smaller, he is my pick to win. His wins in Brazil and Snappers were phenomenal to say the least.
Kelly Slater – The 11 time champ always has the potential to win an event, especially at Lowers. However, he has not had the consistency he has had in his past title runs. For this reason, I am sitting this legend.
Italo Ferrera – Another guy I picked for my team. This rookie has shown a knack for winning heats and upsetting big seeds. He is a solid competitor and if Lowers’ left turns on look out.
John John Florence – I thought he should have won it last year. His heat 4 win over ADS and Slater was some of the best surfing I’ve ever seen at Trestles. If the waves stay overhead for the event, he would be one of my picks to win the event. I expect to see him in the quarters at least regardless of the size.
Adriano De Souza – The #1 seed coming into the event has had a stellar year and has a history of landing big results at this event. Based on my local intel, I am picking him to win the event. This is based on what I have seen at Lowers in the last week. He appears to be very focused and hungry for a title.
Mick Fanning – Another potential winner who has a history of nabbing big results, especially on years in which he is in the hunt for the title. I expect this 3-time world champ to make it to the semis. I don’t have him on my team simply because he costs a lot and Fantasy Surfer doesn’t give you enough $$ for all the stars.
Gabriel Medina – He has looked very inform the last few events but my local intel has produced some inconsistent results. I see Medina finishing somewhere between the 5th and quarters but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins the event. Like slater, he know how to turn it on when it counts.
Jeremy Flores – This kid has returned to form. Fresh off a victory in Tahiti and he has a nice seed. I expect him to make it to the quarters with his rail work.
Joel Parkinson – The former world champ has been off this year a little. He still has a complete game but I’m sitting him for the event.
Taj Burrow – Boy does Taj love lowers. He won the event a few years ago and could go far in this event. However, I’m sitting him for this event as I think the younger kids have arrived.
Kolohe Andino – I have witnessed many amazing waves from Brother at Lowers this summer and he seems to be in great form. He is seeded low so it will be a real feat for him to get through the 3 round because he will go against the high rated guys. I do see him winning his heat in Round 1 and he could potential make to the final heats.
Michel Bourez- He has a very low seed so like Kolohe he will have to beat one of the top guys. I’m sitting him as I think he goes down in the 3rd round.
Nat Young – I’ve been on the fence about Nat for this event. His wicked backhand could deliver him a solid result but I sat him for the event.
Bede Durbidge – Another guy I’ve been on the fence about. I sat him for the event but those frontside snaps could see him into the quarters.
Miguel Pupo – I belive this style master will do well and finish somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round.
*Thanks to WSL for video
As the Men’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour prepares to wave goodbye to the most dangerous wave in the world and head off for the 2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles, we look back at the four biggest storylines to emerge from Tahiti:
Flores hadn’t surfed in, let alone won, a championship final since his win at the 2010 Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii. Over the past five years, he has bounced up and down the world rankings, including finishing a disappointing 33 in the world last year, a year in which he was suspended for the Billabong Pro Tahiti for lashing out at a WSL official during the season.
Watch the Flores and Medina Final
On top of all of that, Flores had to miss the previous event at Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa after a nasty freesurfing accident in Indonesia left him with two facial fractures and bleeding on his brain, requiring him to surf with a helmet at Teahupoo.
Props to Grind TV… Read more at http://www.grindtv.com/surf/4-takeaways-2015-billabong-pro-tahiti/
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, has won his fifth Hurley Pro at Trestles title, defeating Owen Wright (AUS), 21, in a hard-fought Final that saw the iconic Floridian overtake the young Australian in a last-minute exchange with a final score of 17.50 to 16.74.
Slater and Wright’s third consecutive Final bout marks a first in ASP history, as no two competitors have faced off in three successive ASP Dream Tour Finals – a noteworthy statistic in sparking this new rivalry in the battle for the ASP World Title.
Slater roared to life on the Final day, unloading the highest heat-total of competition, 18.40 out of 20 in the Semifinals, and maintained his lethal form throughout the day’s entirety with a consistent display of new-school airs and patented carves to clinch his unprecedented 48th elite ASP World Tour victory and third of the season.
“Owen (Wright) is tough and he’s been surfing great,” Slater said. “There really are no weak points to his surfing and he’s going to be a standout in every spot. A lot of the guys tried to get him this week and I got lucky in that last exchange. I was taking the first wave of the set under his priority and once I got priority I wanted to wait. It almost looked like there wasn’t a wave after Owen’s. It’s been fun surfing against Owen and surfing Lowers. It’s been a great week and thanks everyone for the crazy support, it’s been wonderful.”
Wright, current No. 2 on the ASP World Title rankings, has continued to build momentum throughout his sophomore year amongst the ASP Top 34 and dispatched of a rampaging Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, and rookie prodigy Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, en route to his rematch against Slater, but was unable to solidify the victory over the veteran in the Final.
“I’ve been enjoying the rivalry,” Wright said. “We’ve had some great heats and the last three finals have been great. I’m glad the sets came through at the end. It was a bit of a dud final but I’m glad that last exchange came though at the end. It made it exciting.”
Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, was a standout throughout the Hurley Pro at Trestles, earning the highest single-wave score of 9.80 as well as the second-highest heat-total of 18.23 in his Quarterfinals win over Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, and consistently unloaded some of the most progressive maneuvers of the contest.
“I had a bit of fire after yesterday, not against Joel (Parkinson), but just to show that I could beat him,” Wilson said after his Quarterfinal win. “I’ve dreamed about surfing against Joel and Mick (Fanning) my whole life and yesterday gave me a lot of confidence to go against him today.”
The young Australian got off to a slow start in his Semifinals matchup versus Owen Wright after an interference and was unable to rebound, finishing equal 3rd overall. Wilson now sits at No. 11 on the ASP World Title Rankings.
Heitor Alves (BRA), 29, who finished equal 5th in New York, continued his giant killing spree at the Hurley Pro Trestles, defeating ASP World Title campaigners Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, before falling to Slater in the Semifinals to earn his career best result of an equal 3rd place finish.
“Thanks God for everything in my life,” Alves said. “This is a good result for me. Adriano is a good surfer, he rips this wave and surfs very well. This is a great event for me and I enjoy this wave.”
The final Hurley Pro wildcard spot will be up for grabs right before the first heat of Round 1. The four trials finalists — who earned their spot during the Hurley Pro Trials at the US Open of Surfing — will compete in a four man heat to determine who will be awarded the final spot into the main event. The second Hurley Pro wildcard is still to be determined by Hurley.
Owen Wright won his first ASP Tour victory, Quiksilver Pro New York beating Kelly Slater, to earn the historic US $300,000 first-place prize purse in offshore three-to-five foot surf at Long Beach, New York.
The Australian’s win moves him to No. 2 on the ASP World Title rankings and is now within striking distance of his first ASP World Title. Slater was in deadly form on the final day of Quiksilver Pro New York competition, defeating high-flying Australian Josh Kerr and Taj Burrow, but was unable to overtake Wright’s rampaging forehand assault in the Final.
“I just want to say thanks to everybody,” Slater said. “The swell is offshore and we almost didn’t have the contest last week and it all came together. I’m stoked for Owen to get his first win, congratulations. I’m stoked to be on the East Coast and I think we might have a surf with bravest and finest with firefighters and policemen tomorrow. Thanks to everyone at Quiksilver for an amazing week. We’ve been taken care of like never before. Thanks!”
QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK FINAL:
1 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 14.53
QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.07 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.33
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.84 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.63
QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.77 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.37
QF 2: Kelly Slater (AUS) 15.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.00
QF 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.10 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.10
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.93 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.44
Current ASP World Champion, has claimed the Billabong Pro Tahiti presented by Air Tahiti Nui over Owen Wright (AUS), 21, in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) waves at Teahupo’o. Event No. 5 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pro Tahiti culminated a historic incarnation of the event today, with the world’s best surfers pushing the performance envelope in incredible conditions.
Slater began to really pick up steam in today’s conditions, dispatching of an in-form Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, in the Semifinals before meeting lethal goofy-footer Wright in the Finals. The iconic American utilized his superior backhand tube-riding technique to post an 18.43 heat total out of a possible 20, which would prove too much for his younger opponent to overcome.
“I felt like I finally hit my stride in the Semifinals this morning,” Slater said. “In the Final, I fell on a couple of waves that were maybe better than what I ended up getting scored on. It put the pressure on me, and took the pressure off him (Wright). He got that really big one at the end that could have gotten pretty close to the score. These are the best conditions this event has ever run in. It’s been a phenomenal week.”
Coming into Tahiti rated No. 6 on the ASP World Title rankings, Slater’s win today rockets the Floridian to the No. 1 spot after a number of top seeds suffered early eliminations at the hands of an unmerciful Teahupo’o
“It’s one of those weird events where you have to scramble through the early rounds,” Slater said. “Every year at this event, there are few of the top guys that lose in the early rounds and you have to scramble if you want a result here. You have to be in tune with the tides, swell direction and everything to make sure you get those waves that get you the score.”
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.43
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.10
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.60
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.50 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.40
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.83
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.17
QF 3: Travis Logie (ZAF) 18.07 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.14
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.10
Not suprisingly ten time world champion, Kelly Slater won the 2011 Nike U.S. Open of Surfing held in Huntington Beach, California. Facing West Australia’s Yadin Nicol in the final, Slater opened up with an eight-point ride and never looked back, winning the U.S. Open for the first time since beating Shane Beschen 15 years ago. Slater bags the $100,000 check, but that’s not all.
In one of the most lopsided heats in recent memory, Nicol wouldn’t even catch a wave until there were less than five minutes left on the clock — and when he did finally stand up, the wave just closed out. Throughout the event, Slater had to work hard for his heat wins, finding tubes that didn’t exist and landing air rotations that he never should have landed, but Nicol more or less handed the 10-time world champ the $100,000 first-prize check. It was, in the words of Nicol, “a shocker.” The final heat score was 16.27 to 2.57 — in other words, a blowout. “I guess Yadin wanted me to win because he didn’t catch any waves,” Slater said. “I was just really frustrated for him because he was sitting out the back waiting for the big sets and the big sets were closeouts. The small ones he was just two far outside and I got them. I think what happened is I got the 8.50 to start and he was just going to be patient. If he got a good one he would have thrown a big rotator, but it just never came.” Hoping to qualify for the world tour with a result at the Open, Nicol inched closer to his goal, but still sits on the bubble.”There are still two World Tour events to go so it doesn’t completely change my life just yet,” Nicol said of his second place finish. “It definitely helps the vibe though.”
Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Result:
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27
2. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.40Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.94 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.90
SF 2: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.44 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.8Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.10
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.27
QF 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.44 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.33
QF 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.60 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.26Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Final Result:
1. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.23
2. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.40Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.67 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.46 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 14.16
|Feb 26 – Mar 9, 2011||Gold Coast,Qld, Australia||Quiksilver Pro|
|Apr 19 – 30, 2011||Bells Beach,Victoria, Australia||Rip Curl Pro|
|May 11 – 22, 2011||Rio de Janeiro,RJ, Brazil||Billabong Rio Pro|
|Jul 14 – 24, 2011||Jeffreys Bay, South Africa||Billabong Pro|
|Aug 20 – 31, 2011||Teahupoo,Taiarapu, French Polynesia||Billabong Pro Teahupoo|
|Sep 3 – 12, 2011||East Coast, United States of America||TBA (Tentative)|
|Sep 16 – 24, 2011||Trestles,California, United States of America||Hurley Pro|
|Oct 4 – 13, 2011||South West Coast, France||Quiksilver Pro France|
|Oct 15 – 24, 2011||Peniche, Portugal||Rip Curl Pro|
|Nov 1 – 11, 2011||Somewhere,||Rip Curl Search|
|Dec 8 – 20, 2011||Banzai Pipeline,Oahu, Hawaii||Billabong Pipe Masters|