Owen Wright (AUS), 21, has claimed his maiden ASP Dream Tour victory, taking out the inaugural Quiksilver Pro New York over Kelly Slater (USA), 39, to earn the historic US $300,000 first-place prize purse in offshore three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) surf at Long Beach, New York.
The Quiksilver Pro New York Final marked an rematch between the two from the last stop on the ASP World Title Series in Teahupo’o, but today proved to be Wright’s day, claiming revenge on Slater in front of the capacity crowd in New York.
Wright wasted no time in the Final, belting a 7.00, a 9.23, and an 8.00 in the opening minutes of the heat against the Floridian with a savage forehand attack on the clean lefthand walls, setting the bar too high for the reigning 10-time ASP World Champion to overcome.
“I’m just lapping it up right now,” Wright said. “I’ve always wanted to be in Final with Kelly (Slater) and last week at Teahupo’o was great. I think Kelly is ready for payback already. Thank you Long Beach, how good is this? Look at these waves! Thanks to Quiksilver, we’ve been looked after all week and they made it really easy for us and thanks for the $300,000. Thanks to my coach Dean Davies, it’s been up and down and we’ve worked towards a win and it means a lot. Thanks to my friends and family at home. I’ve been getting messages from them and my Dad, I wish he was here, but another day. Thanks heaps, I really appreciate the support.”
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 (AUS), 27, and Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, 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!”
Slater, who was in need of an excellent ride in the dying minutes of his Semifinals matchup against Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, rose to the occasion, launching the event’s only perfect 10-point ride with a gigantic frontside full-rotation slob grab on a closeout section to overtake Burrow in dramatic fashion.
Photos credit : Rowland and Scholtz / ASP