FORMER Fiji Pro champion Kelly Slater is optimistic of a better finish next year after bowing out in the quarter-final of Fiji Pro competition held at Tavarua this week.
The American surfer who is renowned for his competitive prowess dominated the Fiji Pro event for the past two years unfortunately lost his title to Brazilian Gabriel Medina.
Slater said he would be back next year to reclaim his title.
"The waves were small this year compared with last year but you need to perform well to win the game," he said.
"The competition was tough and I think Gabriel did well to win the event."
Slater rated Tavarua as one of his best hunting grounds despite falling short this year.
"I love Tavarua and I have been coming year since I was 18 years old."
"And definitely I will be back next year."
He said the competition had also prepared him for the upcoming competition to be held in South Africa.
"The outcome from this competition will make me work hard and better my performance at the South African competition."
Slater has been crowned ASP World Tour Champion a record 11 times, including 5 consecutive titles in 1994-98.
Upon winning his fifth world title in 1997, Slater passed Australian surfer Mark Richards to become the most successful champion in the history of the sport.
He also became the all-time leader in career event wins by winning the Boost Mobile Pro event at Lower Trestles near San Clemente, California, in 2007.
He became the first surfer ever to be awarded two perfect scores for a total 20 out of 20 points under the ASP two-wave scoring system during the 2005 Billabong Tahiti Pro contest.
He did it again on in June 2013 at the quarter- finals at the Volcom Fiji Pro with two perfect ten waves, only the fourth person in history to do so.