What Made Kelly Slater Scream “Go The Hog!” In 2005?
…and also: “I might have to poo!”
Any self-respecting surf fan has seen the movie Letting Go upwards of 10 times.
But for any of you goobers who haven’t, let me set the scene:
The year is 2005. Six-time World Champion surfer, Robert Kelly Slater, is in his fourth year back from a premature retirement. In 2003, after losing his father, Kelly lost a remarkably close World Title race against his rival Andy Irons at Pipeline. In 2004 Kelly’s surfing was nowhere to be found, resulting in another underwhelming season (and another Andy Irons victory). But in 2005, Kelly had regained his former dominance and was leading the rankings going into the second-to-last event on the Tour – Brazil.
Unfortunately for Kelly he lost out early, leaving a little wiggle room for his only competitor, Andy Irons, to gain more ground in the Title race before Pipeline.
Then came a man named Nathan Hedge, AKA Hedgehog, or just Hog for short.
Speaking of short, Hog was a diminutive goofyfoot from the continental nation of Australia, known for his ruthless competitive acumen and attacking approach to the surf. Hog came up against Andy in Brazil, in a heat that could potentially decide the World Title.
If Hog were to win, Andy would be incapable of overtaking Slater on the rankings, meaning Slater would become the 2005 World Champ.
Before the match, Hog allegedly went up to Slater and told him, “I’m gonna win this fucken heat,” to which Slater replied something along the lines of Yes, please do!
As the heat unfolded, Slater sat on the bleachers and watched as Andy and Hog went blow-for-blow on the fun looking left-hander. Meanwhile, the sneaky Jake ‘Snake’ Paterson filmed from behind, occasionally taunting the distressed Slater and coaxing him to say funny things like “Go the Hog!” and “I might have to poo!”.
I’d rather not spoil the ending so please watch above.
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