Kelly Slater has won his fifth Hurley Pro at Trestles title, defeating Owen Wright 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.
The Final went absolutely down to the wire with both Owen and Kelly taking waves in the final 90 seconds, and posting the highest scores each for the heat. Both surfers were on dry land waiting for the scores to be tabulated by the judges. Owen briefly took the lead as his score dropped first, but ultimately the judges gave the win to Kelly in a controversial decision.
Amazingly, the final four waves caught were the waves that mattered: Owen racking up 7.87 and 8.87, while Kelly was scored 8.5 and 9.0. But that wasn't the only controversy of the final day. Earlier Owen made it through his Semi Final against Julian Wilson when the young Coolum rookie was deemed to have interfered on the first wave of the heat, dramatically affecting his ability to beat the World Number 2.
Slater and Wright’s third consecutive Final bout marks a first in ASP history, as no two competitors have faced off in three successive Dream Tour Finals – a noteworthy statistic in sparking this new rivalry in the battle for the 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 World Tour victory and third of the season.
“Owen 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 World Title rankings, has continued to build momentum throughout his sophomore year amongst the Top 34 and dispatched of a rampaging Mick Fanning and rookie prodigy Julian Wilson 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 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 and consistently unloaded some of the most progressive maneuvers of the contest. “I had a bit of fire after yesterday, not against Joel, but just to show that I could beat him,” Wilson said after his Quarterfinal win. “I’ve dreamed about surfing against Joel and Mick 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 World Title Rankings.
Heitor Alves who finished equal 5th in New York, continued his giant killing spree at the Hurley Pro Trestles, defeating Taj Burrow and Adriano de Souza 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.” Alves’ performance moves him from No. 20 to 14 on the World Title Rankings.
It sure was a memorable last day that is sure to get surf fans talking.
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES FINAL RESULT: 1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES SEMIFINALS RESULTS: SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.40 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 16.57 SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.74 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.04
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES QUARTERFINALS RESULTS: QF 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.77 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.50 QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.60 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.07 QF 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.67 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67 QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.23 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.93
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 5 RESULTS: Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.74 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.80 Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.27 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.97 Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.23 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.27 Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.37
CURRENT ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 10 (After Hurley Pro at Trestles): 1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 44,950 pts. 2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 39,900 3 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 35,400 4 – Adriano de Souza (BRA)31950 5 – Josh Kerr (AUS)30,800 6 – Taj Burrow (AUS) 29,250 7 – Mick Fanning (AUS)28,200 8 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)27,500 9 – Jeremy Flores (FRA)23,700 10 – Michel Bourez (PYF) 22,250