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Fiji Time: 6:40 AM on Tuesday 2 September

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Kelly again

Manoj Kumar
Thursday, June 13, 2013

TWO perfect 10s in one heat, two world tour victories, two in a row at the Volcom Fiji pro.

For all that was said about the other hopefuls — Jordy Smith, John John Florence, world champion Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, CJ Hobgood — it wasn't to be, for cometh the hour, cometh the man Kelly Slater.

The king of surfing was simply irresistible, absolutely incredible in retaining his crown on the fourth stop of the ASP World Championship tour here yesterday.

It was two former world champions in the final — American Slater and Australian Mick Fanning. It was competitive but in the end 11-time world champion Slater proved too strong to cash in on $US75,000 ($F138,891) with Fanning getting $US35,000 ($F64,816). Having notched a rare double 10 against Hawaii's Sebastian Zietz in the quarter-final win, Kelly ploughed through the waves to get another perfect 10 in the final to tally 19.80 to Fanning's 15.80.

His love affair with Cloudbreak continues! So what is it about him and the best 'left-hander' in the world I queried?

"I don't know man, it's like my home. If I get a chance to live on this reef I would," he offered with a smile. With his second win on tour, Slater, 41, now leads the world rankings.

Fanning rose from the dead in his semi-final to edge American CJ Hobgood with last-gasp winning wave ride. Fanning had earlier seen off Parkinson in the quarter-final while Slater brushed aside youngster Florence of Hawaii in the semi-final.

More tomorrow when I sign off with an insight into the contest. For now, cheers to another successful Volcom Fiji Pro and Slater.

They give him all sorts of champion tag the world over. For me, he is 'Mr Cloudbreak' . There could only be one winner, who loves Cloudbreak and Tavarua — the American who is a Fijian at heart.

* Tomorrow: Kelly's cheers and tears


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