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Kelly Slater wins Fijian final

AUSTRALIA NETWORK
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Update: 6:05PM Eleven times world champion Kelly Slater scored a series of perfect 10 rides on his way to winning the Fijian leg of the World Championship Tour.

Slater, 41, surfed the perfect heat in his quarter-final against Hawaiian young gun Sebastian Zietz, awarded a rare 20 out of 20 by judges for his two best waves at the Cloudbreak contest venue.

He posted a heat total of 18.14 to win his semi-final over Hawaiian John John Florence to set up a final against Australian two-times world champion Mick Fanning.

Fanning showed his hand posting a 9.2 ride three minutes into the final.

But Slater reclaimed the lead within a few minutes and then secured victory with a 10-point ride 11 minutes from the end of the heat.

He went on to win the final from Fanning 19.80 to 15.87.

Slater leads the World Championship Tour from Fanning after four events with South African Jordy Smith in third place.

"What a day," Slater said of his memorable win in epic barrelling waves that saw him post only the second perfect heat score of his long career..

"That was insane. When we started out in the final, Mick had position and I was a little deep, but the next one was unbelievable."

"I want to dedicate this to my brother and his wife and their new kid Van. He told me that if I missed the birth of his son, that I'd better win, so this is for you.

"The waves are the stars today," Slater said. "When they come, they're unbelievable. I don't discount it happening a few times (scoring 10s) in this event because the waves are there, you just have to stand up on them. Theoretically, I could have had three 10s (in one heat) yesterday, the waves were just that good."

Fanning, of Tweed Heads, also put on a spectacular display of tube riding that started with a win over his good mate and defending world champion Joel Parkinson in the quarter-finals.

The 31-year-old Fanning scored late waves first against Parkinson in the quarters, and then against CJ Hobgood in the semi-final to win through to the final.

"I'm pretty stoked," Fanning said.

"I started off with the 9.2 and saw Kelly on the one behind it. When Kelly didn't get a 10 on his first wave, I thought, 'I'm still in this,' but then he shut the door on the next one."

"Overall I'm happy. I didn't really have a good start to this event and then at the end it came good."

The World Championship Tour now heads to Bali for the fifth event of the year from June 18.





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