If anyone here is opposed to Kelly Slater winning his eleventh world title this year, you should probably just leave the room, then leave this planet, and never come back.
Kelly was able to win his 3-man Round Four heat today, after a massive fog bank squatted down onto the beach all morning, causing an incredibly annoying delay for hours. The waves were good once the air cleared though, and La Graviere offered up overhead peaks and light winds. The heat win was not an easy one for Kelly, with Gabe Medina nipping his heels and nearly getting him in the end. Kelly’s margin of victory was 0.03 points.
Owen seemed to be a bit off all day, losing his Round Four heat in uncharacteristic fashion, then squandered opportunities and lost to Jordy in Round Five. To his credit, Jordy surfed very well, but he is still carrying a mcrib-injury and the in-form Owen of late should have had no trouble getting past him. Owen must now focus on Portugal which starts next week, and pray that Kelly loses tomorrow.
With his heat win today, Kelly has booked another spot in the quarterfinals, and locked in a guaranteed keeper of a result. This is crucial for Kelly, as he already has his two throwaway results, a 13th in Brazil and a no-show in Africa. He will now face Gabriel Medina once again in Quarterfinal Two, and with a dying swell, look for Medina to be in his element, small peaky beachbreak. You can bet Owen will be pulling for Gabe in that one.
If you were a betting man, you’d be foolish not to put your money on Ke11y at this point. Sure there’s a lot that can happen between now and December, like say a martian attack or asteroid, but beyond that Kelly has every conceivable advantage at this point. A huge ratings lead, the experience, the backing. In fact, the only possible edge anyone could have on him would be age. Kelly is almost forty, but has apparently figured out a way to avoid aging. The guy is not only keeping up with the kids and their tricks, he’s doing them bigger and doing them under pressure. Remember his 10 against Taj in New York?
Today the question is still “Who will win the title?”, for now, but a few more heat wins for Kelly and that question will quickly become “When will Kelly win the title?”.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.57, Taylor Knox (USA) 11.17, Jeremy Flores (FRA) N/S
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.83, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.80, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.83
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.10, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.10, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.03
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.43, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.13, Owen Wright (AUS) 11.10
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.53
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) Advances Over Jeremy Flores (FRA) *Flores withdraws due to ankle injury sustained in Round 3 of competition.
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.74 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.53
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.16 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.86
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
QF 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)