Home > ASP Tour > Kelly Slater one heat win away from unprecedented 10th ASP World surfing title

Kelly Slater one heat win away from unprecedented 10th ASP World surfing title

November 6th, 2010

Pictured: Jordy Smith (Durban) performs a radical fins-free cutback at Middles in Puerto Rico yesterday on his way to the berth in the quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Search  Credit: ASP/Cestari

Puerto Del Sol, Puerto Rico (Saturday 6 November 2010) – Kelly Slater (USA), 38, moved to within one heat win of an unprecedented 10th ASP World surfing title by advancing to the quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Search in Puerto Rico yesterday.

The former nine-time ASP World Champion and current World No. 1 is now guaranteed of a minimum 5th place finish in the event and only needs to advance to the semifinals and third place to clinch the title and a spot in the annals of global sporting history.

Even if Slater loses in his next encounter, South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban), 22, the current World No. 2, will have to win the contest to extend the ASP World Title Race to the last event of the year in Hawaii next month.

“I’ve always had it in my head that Jordy (Smith) is going to win this contest so I need at least a 3rd,” Slater said. “He’s been the most consistent guy all year and he’s in really good form. I’m not thinking about Jordy losing at all. I’m just focused on what I have to do.”

The Rip Curl Pro Search, Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, completed Rounds 3 and 4 yesterday following a two-day suspension of competition out of respect for former ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 32, who tragically passed away on Tuesday.

Slater survived a hard-fought battle against local wildcard Dylan Graves (PRI), 24, in Round 3 and then defeated Adriano de Souza (BRA), 23, and Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, in their non-elimination Round 4 clash to advance directly to the quarters.
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Smith halted any ASP World Title celebrations yesterday by blending impressive tube rides, massive rail turns and fin-free manoeuvres to dispatch Gabe Kling (USA), 30, in Round 3.

“The wind actually switched right at the start of our heat and it really opened up the waves,” Smith said. “I knew there was the potential for barrels out there and I was fortunate to sneak into a few. No pressure, I’m just going out and doing what I love.”

Despite the monumental task ahead, Smith remains positive about his approach to the remainder of the event, citing his enjoyment for the sport as a major motivation in his continued performance.

“I’m just trying to prove that I can surf pretty well,” Smith said. “I think we all learned a lesson from Andy (Irons): never have a down moment, always smile and enjoy what you do. I’m having fun and surfing the way I want to. I’m not really thinking about what Kelly (Slater) is thinking, but I’m here to make him work for it.”

Smith then produced a sensational late charge in Round 5, sending Owen Wright (AUS), 20, and Chris Davidson (AUS), 34, to Round 5 while he advanced directly to the quarterfinals.

When the contest resumes, Slater will be up against the winner of the Round 5 heat between good friend and ASP World Tour stalwart Taylor Knox (USA) and Brazilian rising star Adriano de Souza in his bid to wrap up what would be a momentous achievement.

Event organizers will reconvene today at 7am (1pm in South Africa) to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am (1.30pm) start.

When competition resumes, up first will be Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, up against Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the opening heat of Round 5.

All the action from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico will be webcast LIVE via http://live.ripcurl.com

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.16 def. Dusty Payne (USA) 9.00
Heat 2:Taylor Knox (USA) 14.10 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.73
Heat 3:Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.04 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.70
Heat 4:Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.70 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.90
Heat 5:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.06 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.84
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.07
Heat 7:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.43
Heat 8:Chris Davidson (AUS) Advances Over Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) N/S
Heat 9:Owen Wright (AUS) 17.50 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.27
Heat 10:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.37 def. Dan Ross (AUS) 11.80
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.33 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.54
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.60 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 12.10

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.57, Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.23, Taylor Knox (USA) 13.70
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.42, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.60
Heat 3:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.80, Owen Wright (AUS) 14.26, Chris Davidson (AUS) 8.16
Heat 4:Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.70, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 3:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
Q1: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Winner of Round 5, Heat 1
Q2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Winner of Round 5, Heat 2
Q3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Winner of Round 5, Heat 3
Q4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Winner of Round 5, Heat 4

Ends

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: colin@aspafrica.com

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Life’s a Beach Communications
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About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships.
The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.

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