Surfing - Slater wins in Fiji, reclaims top ranking

Kelly Slater proved he is still one of the best surfers in the world with victory over Mick Fanning in the final of the Volcom Fiji Pro.

Eurosport
Surfing - Slater wins in Fiji, reclaims top ranking
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Kelly Slater of the US (AFP)

The 11-times ASP world champion surged back to the top of the world rankings after his win in pumping six-to-eight foot barrels at Cloudbreak.

The American scored a perfect 20 in his quarter-final win over Sebastian Zietz - just the fourth time such a feat has been recorded at an ASP event. Unsurprisingly though, Slater had already managed it once before.

He went on to oust another Hawaiian John John Florence in the semis before seeing off Australian Fanning in the title decider.

Slater's quality shone through once again in the final as he registered a near-perfect 19.80 out of 20 to complete an incredibly high-scoring event in Fiji.

“What a day,” Slater said. “That was insane. When we stared 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. I want to say hi to everyone at home. What can I say, what a day.”

“The waves are the stars today,” Slater added. “When they come, they’re unbelievable. I missed one in that heat that was insane.

"When waves are this good, I don’t discount it happening a few times in this event because the waves are there, you just have to stand up on them. Theoretically, I could have had three 10s yesterday, the waves were just that good. It’s a special thing if you can get a 10 in a heat, so I’m really stoked.”

Fanning beat reigning world champion Joel Parkinson in his quarter-final before booking a match-up with Slater with victory over C.J. Hobgood in the semis.

“I’m pretty stoked,” Fanning said. “I started off with the 9.2 and saw Kelly doing the Jesus Christ 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 ASP World Tour now moves on to Bali for the Oakley Pro which starts on June 18.

Final

1 - Kelly Slater (USA) 19.80

2 - Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.87

Semi-finals

SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.17 def. John John Florence (HAW) 14.00

SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.07 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.70

Quarter-finals

QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 19.06 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.67

QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 20 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 4.10

QF 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.77 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.50

QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.13 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.83

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