Mick Fanning showed why he is sitting pretty on top of the 2012 ASP rankings with another solid display of surfing at Lower Trestles this week.
Despite impressing throughout the early rounds Mick did finally meet his match when he came up against 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater in the semi-finals.
“Even when Kelly (Slater) had those first two waves I was confident that I could come back if the waves came. But the surf just stopped, that’s the nature of our game. You can’t really fight back if there’s nothing there.”
Mick arrived at the Hurley Pro fresh from victory at the tour’s last stop in Tahiti and another strong result keeps him ahead in his race for a third ASP World Championship title.
“Kelly (Slater) and I both knew what was going on and if I got on top here the title race would have just been further away. But Kelly surfed a really smart heat, he threw caution to the wind and it paid off. I was just unlucky that the ocean didn’t really cooperate with me, but a third place finish is a keeper. It’s another result I don’t have to worry about and I learned a lot of things at this event.”
After his semi-final win over Mick it was Kelly Slater who contested the final in the Southern Californian surf against Joel Parkinson. Kelly and his four-fin “Quad” surfboard started the final strongly and the momentum was enough to bring home his 50th elite ASP World Championship Tour victory.
“I went out there feeling like I didn’t have anything to lose because Parko (Joel Parkinson) was the form guy. He was pretty much the standout in every round. He schooled Gabriel (Medina) yesterday somehow and was combo’ing everybody. I just figured I had to get myself on the best waves and let go a little bit, but it got really quiet out there. The first time something really felt like it went my way when the judges took my priority away. By the time they announced it, Joel was above the wave and couldn’t catch it. That was the turning point for me. Every contest I’ve won, there’s some moment where things go my way.”
Kelly’s third consecutive victory at Lower Trestles sees him move up to third in the 2012 ASP rankings while Joel Parkinson stays second behind Mick Fanning. Parko reflected on another final defeat after his recent second place finish in Tahiti
“Tahiti kind of hurt a lot. I felt like I was on a bit of a good one this week. It was all going well. Every time I paddled out, I had a lot of waves and Kelly (Slater) had those heats where he had no waves and I was thinking, ‘my mojo is stronger.’ Sure enough, the Final was a slow one. It was one of those ones where you feel like you’re on point all week and Mother Nature just lets you down.”
Finishing in joint third place with Mick Fanning was Brazil’s Adriano de Souza. Adriano was too strong for fellow Brazilian Gabriel Medina in round five but then came up short against Parko in the semi-finals.
“I had a nice heat against Gabriel (Medina) a few months ago at the US Open and he beat me. Gabriel’s such a good guy and a good competitor, he’s going to battle for the world title soon and I just got lucky. I was trying to find a few waves at the beginning to put pressure on him.”
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.50
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.00
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.27 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.34
SF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.26 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.43
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.50
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.93
QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.16 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.04
QF 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 11.60
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.90 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.76
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.44
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.93 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.57
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.30 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.57
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After Hurley Pro at Trestles):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 41,250 pts
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 39,700 pts
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 35,450 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) 32,650 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 30,650 pts