Kelly Slater the nine time ASP World Surf Champion and current World No. 1, has collected his 44th elite tour victory, besting current ASP World No. 2, Jordy Smith from South Africa to take out the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in glassy 3 -5 foot waves at Supertubos.
Although composed and relatively under the radar throughout the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Slater struck stealthily in the Final, locking in two solid backhand waves in the shifting conditions, and staving off a late charge from the young South African.
“It was actually a pretty slow Final with neither of us getting any waves of consequence,” Slater said. “I was trying to stay busy but neither of us could get a solid wave. I actually nearly ended up reaching my wave maximum out there so I kind of had to slow down and try to wait for waves that mattered. Jordy has all the talent in the world and he’s capable of getting a score at any time. It wasn’t over until the horn blew.”
“It’s obviously a very big deal for me,” Slater said en route to an unprecedented 10th World Title. “If it happens, it will be a major personal accomplishment in my life.
Smith fought valiantly throughout the 40 minute Final, posting the highest single-wave score of a 7.10 of a 10 for a backhand Superman air, but was unable to find a worthy backup score.
“I guess I felt a little out of rhythm in the Final,” Smith said. “I was able to notch up one good one, but couldn’t find a backup. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m still happy with the result and the way my year has gone so I’m just staying positive and we’ll see how we end up.”
The last one remaining in the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title, Smith acknowledges the tall feat that lies ahead and is philosophical when discussing the remainder of the season.
“I’ve had a blast here in Portugal,” Smith said. “We’ve had some really fun waves. I was stoked to be in the Final with Kelly. I’m stoked to still be in the race with him. He’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole life and it’s an honour to be up there in the rankings next to him.”
The 2010 ASP World Title Race will head towards Puerto Rico for the next stop on the ASP Dream Tour.
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 13.33
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.43
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1:Kelly Slater (USA) 16.03 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.20
SF 2:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.00 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.57
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1:Chris Davidson (AUS) 9.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.50
QF 2:Kelly Slater (USA) 15.24 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.56
QF 3:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.17 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.67
QF 4:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.70 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.50
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.84 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.94
Heat 2:Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.10 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.83
Heat 3:Owen Wright (AUS) 13.40 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.73
Heat 4:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.00 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.16
ASP WORLD TITLE RACE TOP 5 (After Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1.Kelly Slater (USA) 58,000 pts
2.Jordy Smith (ZAF) 48,750 pts
3.Mick Fanning (AUS) 41,250 pts
4.Taj Burrow (AUS) 34,000 pts
5.Adrian Buchan (AUS) 33,750 pts