Kelly Slater has conquered the 2011 Hurley Pro, at Lower Trestles, Southern California, after defeating Owen Wright. Perfect 3-4 foot split-peaks were the perfect stage for a high quality performance surfing. There were aerials, slob grabs, 360's, crazy cutbacks, intense roundhouses and breathless floaters for every taste. Watch the final highlights, here.
The anglophone battle had two special ingredients. Both surfers were in a tie situation, as Kelly took Teahupoo and Owen claimed New York and never before two surfers had came up together in three consecutive surfing finals, in the Dream Tour.
The critical stage of the 2011 ASP World Tour was heated up and the entire beach arena knew it was a clash of two surfing generations. Slater opened with a fair wave, but Wright answered immediately with a better one.
After the warm-up rides, both finalists opened their aerial books and improved their initial scores. With 14 minutes remaining, the Floridian was in need of a 6.20 point wave to take the lead. Slater secured a 8.50 ride and Wright clinched a 7.87.
Kelly had a priority to use and he managed it, despite the last second attempt by the Australian. Both surfers waited for the final decision from the judges, out of the water. Incredible!
"Owen (Wright) is tough and he’s been surfing great,” Slater said. "There really are no weak points to his surfing and he’s going to be a standout in every spot. A lot of the guys tried to get him this week and I got lucky in that last exchange."
"I was taking the first wave of the set under his priority and once I got priority I wanted to wait. It almost looked like there wasn’t a wave after Owen’s. It’s been fun surfing against Owen and surfing Lowers. It’s been a great week and thanks everyone for the crazy support, it’s been wonderful."
Owen Wright was delighted with the rematch. "I’ve been enjoying the rivalry," Wright said. "We’ve had some great heats and the last three finals have been great. I’m glad the sets came through at the end. It was a bit of a dud final but I’m glad that last exchange came though at the end. It made it exciting."
In the first Semifinal, Kelly Slater and Heitor Alves put out a great surfing show, with stunning exchanges. Super clean powerful wave rides gave both surfers big scores. Alves was the "Claim Man", but he entered combo-land in the last two minutes in San Clement's most consistent surf spot.
Kelly Slater was in the 7th final in eight years, at Lower Trestles. He has already been in 68 finals during his career.
Next, it was an Australian surfing duel. Owen Wright and Julian Wilson wanted the final and a match-up with the 10-time world champion from Cocoa Beach. An early interference kept Wilson far from the dreamed final. He couldn't believe it.
Wright kept loose and locked in a total score of 14.74 points. Three finals in a row for Kelly and Owen. Tahiti, New York and Trestles. What a surfing year. Trestles wrapped up summer in a cool and relaxed vibe.
The 2011 ASP World Tour now heads to Europe for the Quiksilver Pro France, to be surfed between October 4th-13, in the South of the country.
Final of the 2011 Hurley Pro:
Kelly Slater (USA) 17.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 16.74
Semifinal of the 2011 Hurley Pro:
Kelly Slater (USA) 18.40 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 16.57
Owen Wright (AUS) 14.74 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.04