While Kelly Slater’s competitive record is unmatched in sports, there is one event that’s historically given him fits, and unfortunately for Slater it’s exactly where the tour is heading next for the Quiksilver Pro in France. In fact, the last time Slater won the event in Hossegor was 1996, when Bill Clinton was in office, Kenny G was still topping Billboard charts, and rookie Tiger Woods was just starting to light up the PGA.
It hasn’t been all bad for Kelly. He finished runner-up in both 2008 and 2010, but knowing Slater, that just added to his history of French frustration. Not surprisingly, he’s talking openly about his French problems, hoping a little cathartic cleansing get him over the hump in 2012. “I feel like I’ve surfed really well at that event for a long time,” Slater says regarding the event (see video below). “I’ve had some close results in the past few years, but just haven’t been able to put it away.”
Slater could really use a win in France this year, too, especially given Mick Fanning’s history of recent success there. Mick won back-to-back Quiksilver Pros in 2009 and 2010, and he’d love nothing more than to extend his ratings lead over Slater before heading into the home stretch.