Kelly Slater moves forward at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach despite injury
The ASP World Tour Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach relocated to its third venue for the event in Australia, moving one point north to Winkipop to take advantage of 3- to 4-foot waves for Round 3 and the opening four heats of Round 4.Nine-time ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater had a bit of a worry prior to competition, spending the day in the hospital getting scans of his right foot (inflamed ligaments suspected). He could still surf though, and was victorious over Hawaii's Dusty Payne in Round 3.
"I woke up this morning and I couldn’t walk so for me it was all an upside today," Slater said. "I expected to go out there and lose. Instead, I got out there and figured out I could surf. With 10 minutes remaining, I had priority so I was just hoping for a long flat spell or just one wave. I got a couple of scores, kept it efficient and came away with the win."
Australia's Taj Burrow, current ASP World No. 1, has been in sensational form lately and continued that through his two heats, scoring 17.04 out of a possible 20 to beat fellow Australian Matt Wilkinson.
"It feels great," Burrow said. "I owe him [Irons] a couple. We’ve had some amazing battles over our careers. He’s been in deadly form and I had a great time. The waves are really good. I think it might even be one the best surfs I’ve had at Winki -- only small, but just so clean and with the high tide they were coming from this little deep peak. Every wave I took off on had such a nice wall. It was good to have a few sets come through too. I was worried about the heat being inconsistent but it ended up pumping."
Fanning, who won this event in 2001, dominated his Round 3 heat to net 17.20 out of a possible 20 and advance.
"I had a good little wave at the start and got an 8.50," Fanning said of Round 3. "It allowed me to apply a lot of pressure at the start. I was just out there having a lot of fun. I knew the waves were going to be fun little rights, and I surf those all the time. I just tried to focus on selecting the best waves and surfing well."
Event organizers will reconvene for a possible 7:30 a.m. start. When competition resumes, first up will be defending Rip Curl Pro winner Joel Parkinson, Australia against compatriot Adrian Buchan in Heat 5 of Round 4.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.67 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 11.16
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.37 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.70
Heat 3: Andy Irons (HAW) 10.67 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 6.70
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.04 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.33
Heat 5: Roy Powers (HAW) 13.50 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.34
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 8.47
Heat 7: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.14 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.17
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.20 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.84
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.16 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 13.57
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.06
Heat 11: Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.83 def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 10.34
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.53 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.37
Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.90 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.63
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) 14.34 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 14.17
Heat 15: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.10 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.84
Heat 16: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.24 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.00
Round 4 results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.90 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.90
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.77 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 11.93
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.30 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 13.77
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.60 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.90
Remaining Round 4 matchups:
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Jadson Andrew (BRA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Kelly Slater showed no signs of the reported injury, winning his Round 3 heat over Dusty Payne during the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. Credit: © Steve Robertson / ASP
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