Kelly Slater bags Quiksilver Pro title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kelly Slater bags Quiksilver Pro title

04/03/2008 07:29:06 PM Comments (0)

Eight-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater has stolen Mick Fanning's thunder at the Australian's home break, downing the reigning title holder in the season-opening Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast.

The victory is sure to fuel speculation about the surfing future of the 36-year-old veteran, who said before the competition that he was still considering his options.

He had remarked before the world tour event that a win at Snapper Rocks would be an excellent time to quit.

But after his strong victory over Fanning, a grinning Slater said it was still not time to act on those words.

"I'm not thinking about that right now," he told reporters.

"(This win is) really satisfying ... it just felt great."

Slater and Fanning had set up what looked like a blockbuster match-up, with both surfing eight-plus waves within the first few minutes to the delight of a crowd of thousands.

Slater got out of the blocks with a 8.67-point wave score but was gazumped by Fanning who duly posted a 9.33.

Good waves then proved hard to come by, but Slater effortlessly recorded another nine-plus wave score to wind down the heat and earn himself the $32,000 winner's cheque.

He finished on 17.94 points to Fanning's 15.23.

Fanning, a dual winner at his home break of Snapper Rocks, spent the last eight minutes willing a decent wave to come through, but was gracious in defeat.

"Kelly surfed amazing the whole heat," he said.

"I was just praying for another wave, but it just didn't come."

Slater was accused of playing mind games about the 2008 season after on Monday ruling out a berth at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach on March 19, and Fanning, for one, was dubious.

"He's talking shit. He's going," said the 26-year-old, who had his own exclusive to drop.

"Yeah, I'm not going to do the rest of the year either."

But Fanning can content himself with his performance, after accounting for big names Bede Durbidge, Dean Morrison and much-touted wildcard Julian Wilson in the third round.

France's Jeremy Flores was the surprise packet of the event, after a narrow points loss to Slater in the semi-final.

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