Slater, who had won three out of the nine events contested this season coming into the contest, scored 15.13 to win from Australia’s Dan Ross (14.40), waiting until the final two minutes of the round before nailing the moves which won him the event.
Needing a score of 6.88 from his last wave, he scored 7.6. Ross failed with his frantic last effort, thousands of fans erupted in cheers, knowing their hero had again prevailed in the title race.
“I don’t know, this hasn’t sunk in. I’ve been pretty stressed about it and I’m glad it’s over,” the 39-year-old Florida native said following his victory. “It’s very fulfilling and there’s personal satisfaction. It feels real nice.
It was a special victory for Slater with his triumph coming on the one-year anniversary of the death of Andy Irons, a former three-time world champ, bitter rival, and close friend of Kelly.
“It’s sort of weird, I was just thinking about a lot of things coming together and what’s the chances I’d do this on the anniversary of unfortunately Andy passing away,” Slater said in a statement following the contest. “In a way it makes it obviously a lot more special for me. I guess a way to celebrate my memories of him and just be thinking about him.”
Slater became the youngest ever ASP world champion when he won his first at the tender age of 20 way back in 1992. Over the course of his amazing 20-year career, he has won a record 48 tour events, pulling in more than $3million in prize money in the process.
“I’ve dedicated my whole life to surfing and competing and to go the whole year and have this ending is a rewarding feeling.”
via Surfer Today