Fanning downs Slater in epic final at Bells

Australia’s Mick Fanning produced a stunning display of surfing to beat 11-times world champion Kelly Slater and win the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Australia.

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NEWQUAY, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 06: A dog shelters under a sun shade as people gather on Fistral Beach on the first day of the Boardmasters surf and music festival in Newquay on August 6, 2014 in Cornwall, England. Since 1981, Newquay has been playing host to the Boardmasters surfing competition - which is part of a larger five-day surf, skate and music festival and has become a integral part of the continually popular British surf scene growing from humble beginnings, to one of the biggest events on the British surfing calendar. It now attracts professional surfers from across the globe to compete on the Cornish beach that is seen by many as the birthplace of modern British surfing. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Slater was bidding for a record fifth title at Bells but was just out-gunned in a high quality final in two metre surf at the iconic Victoria break.

The victory was Fanning’s second at Bells, the Australian also winning 11 years ago in 2001.

American Slater scored a perfect single-wave score of 10 half way through the heat but his second best score of 8.07 was not enough to beat Fanning’s scores of 9.7 and 9.1

Gold Coast native Fanning had surfed to a high quality through the day, taking out Kai Otton in the quarter-finals and defending champion Joel Parkinson in the last four.

On his side of the draw, Slater took out Australian aerial specialist Josh Kerr in the quarters before beating Frenchman Jeremy Flores in the semi-finals.

Fanning exploded out of the blocks in the 40-minute final, posting his 9.1 early before Slater produced a full aerial rotation, landing flat on the water in front of the wave, to record the perfect score.

But the Australian responded in kind, posting a 9.7 and leaving Slater needing another big score to snatch the win.

Despite catching a couple of late waves, the American was not able to record higher than 8.07, leaving Fanning free to collect his first title at Bells since his wildcard entry as a teenager in 2001.

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