HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Wednesday, March 9, 2011) – Reigning 10-Time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 39, continued his winning form to assert himself as the early frontrunner for the 2011 ASP World Title by defeating Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, to win the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover.
After clinching his unprecedented 10th ASP World Title in 2010, the timeless Floridian’s reign continued among the Top 34 during one of the most progressive displays of competitive surfing ever to unfold in the history of the sport.
Slater quietly navigated through the early rounds of Quiksilver Pro action before detonating his personal best performances on the final day of competition, eventually topping Burrow in a strategic final amidst deteriorating conditions to win his 46th elite ASP World Tour event.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Slater said. “It’s pretty easy. You go out and surf Snapper by yourself, it’s pretty fun. To get to surf a contest is a bonus. I’d like to thank my girlfriend and everyone at Quiksilver for throwing the event. Everyone loves this event because the waves are so fun. I don’t think I’m the only one that thought Taj was the standout of the event. At some point had to stop getting 9s and I just picked the right heat.”
Brett Simpson (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, showed maturity entering his sophomore year on the ASP Top 34, marching past an elite list of names including fellow Californian Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 25, Hawaiian Fred Patacchia (North Shore, HI), 29, dangerous South African Jordy Smith (ZAF), 23, and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, with a progressive forehand repertoire at Snapper Rocks before falling to eventual finalist Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, in their Quarterfinals matchup.
“It’s pretty amazing (Snapper Rocks),” Simpson said. “I think that’s why we all try and get on this tour, but it’s pretty tricky too because you’re out there trying to figure out what waves to take. It’s nice to get out there and get a couple of sick ones. I think that wave was the best wave I’ve ever got out here and it feels good to do it in your heat.”
“I learned a lot last year,” continued Simpson. “At first you’re just so stoked to get there and to be surfing against your heroes and at some stage you realize ‘I have to try and beat these guys.’ I’m just trying to get good waves and surf as I can.”
The Next ASP World Title event will be the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, which holds a waiting period from April 19 through 30, 2011.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspnorthamerica.org or www.aspworldtour.com