Slater wins Rip Curl Pro
Bells Beach – Jordy Smith (Durban, South Africa), 22, placed fifth in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Snickers when he was narrowly eliminated by reigning ASP World Champion and eventual event runner-up Mick Fanning (AUS) in their quarterfinal encounter earlier today.
A lack of swell at the premier venue of Bells Beach saw organisers relocate the event 90 minutes to the West where the event was completed at Johanna with former nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) claiming the event title by defeating Fanning in the final held in solid 1 to 1.3 metre beach-break waves.
Smith posted the heat high score of 8.50 points out of 10 to take the lead from Fanning with just six minutes remaining but was denied a semifinal spot when the Australian, needing 6.68 points for victory, posted a 6.70 with two minutes left on the clock and then upped that with a 6.87 on the final siren.
Fanning went on to defeat current ASP No. 1 Taj Burrow (AUS) in the semis to set up a final against Slater, who showed little discomfort from the hairline fracture in his right foot incurred free-surfing earlier in the week by overcoming Michel Bourez (PYF) in Round 4, Bede Durbidge (AUS) in the quarters and Bobby Martinez (USA) in the semis.
The first half of the 35 minute final was a lacklustre affair before Fanning lit up an ordinary looking wave to take the lead with a 7.17. With less than 10 minutes left, Slater, bidding to join the legendary Mark Richards (AUS) as the only competitor to lift the famous Bell trophy for a fourth time, ignited his challenge with an amazing aerial manoeuvre.
Boosting himself high into the air over a close-out section, Slater completely lost contact with his surfboard as he landed in the white-water but somehow emerged standing up on the board at the bottom of the wave to earn 8.93 points and take the lead. Two minutes later Fanning made his only mistake when, holding priority, he elected not to go on a well-shaped inside wave on which Slater proceeded to string together a series of high performance manoeuvres for 8.10 points and the 42nd event title of his storied career.
The event results see Burrow retain his lead in the ASP World Tour rankings, adding a third place to his victory in the opening event of the year for a total of 16 500 ratings points. Slater moved into the No. 2 spot with his win plus a ninth while Smith slips one place to No. 3 with his runner-up finish last month and fifth here.
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RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH FINAL RESULTS:
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 17.03
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.0
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:
SF1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.33 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.50
SF2: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.66 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 3.80
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS:
QF1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.34 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 4.87
QF2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.20 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.0
QF3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.10 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.40
QF4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.10 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.0
CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10 (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 16500 pts
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 13750 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13250 pts
4 – Bobby Martinez (USA) 13000 pts
5 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 11750 pts
6 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10500 pts
6 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10500 pts
6 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10500 pts
9 – Dane Reynolds (USA) 8250 pts
10 – Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 7500 pts
10 – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7500 pts
39 – Travis Logie (ZAF) 1000 pts