Dusty Payne, sunset spin (and almost a heat winner), Santa Cruz
So. Very. Close. So close, was Dusty Payne, to knocking Kelly Slater outta the O’Neill Cold Water Classic today. KS ain’t looked too wired into The Lane and has said numerous times that it’s a hard wave to surf. “I just can’t seem to figure this wave out, so I better figure something out quick,” said […]
So. Very. Close.
So close, was Dusty Payne, to knocking Kelly Slater outta the O’Neill Cold Water Classic today. KS ain’t looked too wired into The Lane and has said numerous times that it’s a hard wave to surf. “I just can’t seem to figure this wave out, so I better figure something out quick,” said Kelly after his round two win over wildcard Ratboy. “It’s tough. There weren’t many opportunities out there.” But Kelly made some good choices in his round three heat against Dusty.
With less than a minute remaining and Dusty needing a 9.34, the Hawaiian hucked one of the best airs done in a jersey this year. A big, inverted 270-revert. Dusty thought he’d done enough. If he had, Kelly would’ve been eliminated and, then, if Joel Parkinson had won the event, the world title would’ve finally been his. But Dusty was gifted an 8.27 and Kelly won the heat. Which means that this year’s world title race must be decided at Pipeline, in Hawaii.
It’s hard to know which is the more appealing scenario – Dusty’s last-minute heroics being rewarded enough to make a difference, or the prospect of a Pipe finish. In the big picture, once the thrill of Dusty’s hit fades, the reality of this situation is very, very exciting. Especially if Pipe’s big, and scary. Oh, if only.
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