Kelly Slater Eviscerates The Competition At Knee High Manly!
Surfers half Slater’s age were put to sleep by our sport’s greatest.
In what could be called Florida-like Manly Beach conditions, the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro ran through its second Round of competition today, with an emphasis on Heat 9.
“The crowd has increased about a thousand-fold in the last 45 minutes,” reported a faceless webcast commentator. “Probably has something to do with 11x World Champion Kelly Slater being in the next heat.”
Facing Victor Bernardo, Ramzi Boukhiam, and Vincente Romero in today’s meager conditions, Slater opted for a 5’8 Dan Mann quad to surf his heat, with a Helium Gamma waiting on the beach just in case. Twenty years ago, Slater could have won this match on a two-by-four, but with his youthful agility waning and the competition improving each year, the question remained whether Slater might lose in his first round at a QS 6,000 event.
He killed any doubts in the opening minutes.
Following a paddle battle with Victor Bernardo, Slater rocketed across a left hand wall — the biggest that would come through all heat — and triple float climbed his way to the shoulder in rapid succession, securing a 5 point ride on speed and flow alone.
Víctor then dropped a 6 for his Griffin-like forehand glide while Vincente Q-hopped his way to a couple of fours. Meanwhile, Ramzi sat stoically out the back, thinking of the waves he could be surfing in Morocco right now.
Slater then looked right, alternating between snaps and tail-slips and parking his foam on the sand with each completed ride.
In typical Slater fashion, he grabbed a substanceless scrap under priority which then doubled-up and allowed for three vertical slams before the shorepound. Slater dropped a high-5 to go with his mid-5 and gained the heat lead. Time proceeded. Wind chopped. The waves ceased and Slater was declared champion (of Round 2, Heat 9).
“It’s crazy. I haven’t surfed a contest in so long. I feel like I’ve been kind of a hermit in my house lately, but now I’m thrown right back into this,” Slater said in his post-heat presser. “I’m really stoked be here though, back on the Northern Beaches.”
It’s believed Ramzi is still sitting out the back, dreaming of African points.
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