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.”
Photos credit : Rowland and Scholtz / ASP