In round three of the Rip Curl Pro, Peniche this morning, Raoni Monteiro beat Kelly Slater. The loss eliminates Kelly from the competition, and ever-so slightly improves the chances of current world number one Joel Parkinson winning his first world title (very, very slightly – Kelly’s not a man y’ever count out of a title race). Once the initial and appropriate reactions wore off, Kelly gave a lucid interview. Read it below in its entirety.
“You take off, you think you’ve got one easy and all of a sudden the bottom sucks out and you get pitched. I was surprised I didn’t break my board on about three of those. And I got drilled into the sand a coupla times, I just got lit up, my suit was just full of kelp and sand when I came in. Yeah, it was frustrating… that might have been the most frustrating heat I’ve ever had on tour.”
“At the end I was just trying to get outta the currents and just try to find a corner, and maybe try to get a big air, y’know, or hopefully a barrel, but the barrels weren’t working, so I was gonna have to try and get some big air rotation or something. I think one big rotation out there would probably get you over a six. So, when it got down to about three minutes, I figured I probably didn’t have too much time to catch two waves. Maybe. But when you’re trying for 27 minutes already and didn’t get one, the chances of getting two that quick are… they’re dropping off. You’re so close to the beach it can happen, but y’know, it’s just the way it is. If it was offshore it’d be pumping right now, but it’s not.”
“(On watching John, Mick and Joel) Obviously I’m gonna be finding out what’s happening. But I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I might just go straight home. I’ll probably stick around here for a little bit and watch a coupla heats, just leave it here at the beach. You’ve still gotta go out there and do the work. Those guys are at the top for a reason. They don’t make too many mistakes.”
“Ah, I dunno, I’m just frustrated. That was a key heat. I just needed to get through cause there’s so many more points on offer for just making one more heat. And, you get two opportunities in the next one. If this was the three man round heat, and it was this bad you’d say, it doesn’t matter if you lose, but it’s frustrating to go down without being able to get out-surfed, or the chance to out-surf someone. But y’know, Joel and Mick and John John, they’re really good in these conditions, you saw Joel in the heat before me, he picked a bunch of good ones, and John John’s super sneaky in these kinda waves, and expect that Mick will find his waves.”
“(At Steamer Lane) Only one to go there, and that’s up for me, I’ve surfed there once and got last in my first heat (laughs). I think it was about ’94. But we’ll see, if there’s waves there’ll be plenty of opportunities to surf your heats, we’ll deal with those high tide heats, and some backwash, and if it’s small it’ll be tough against the cliff. There’s not a lot of variety that can be done on those waves when it’s high tide and full and small. But if we get swell, there’s some corners out in the middle, and a few different opportunities. Expect the goofy footers to be going left, doing big airs into that wind. I’ll just get there and figure it out. I hear there’s a chance we could actually move up to Ocean Beach, so we’ll see what happens.” – Ryan Miller.