Kelly Slater was trying to play the patience game in his heat vs. Adriano De Souza this morning. It failed him miserably. Slater was defeated by the kid from Brazil, who, by the way, also happens to be sitting above him in the ASP World Tour rankings. The loss eliminated any hopes of an All-American Final. Kelly was the last line of defense on the lower half of the leader board for that to happen.
Throughout this event Slater’s strategy has been to stay busy, and that plan has worked. But the lineup in Huntington is a mixed bag today, as the huge south swell that’s pounded the coast of California for the last couple of days is on the decline. The good waves are getting harder to find, as the lineup is constantly shifting with the tides. Slater elected to stay close to the pier, where he’s been finding some good righthanders all week. But he sat for too long.
By the time Slater got his first good score under his belt,he was running out of time. Then he compunded his early error by making another one; he moved to the far south side of the playing field, where waves with shape are hard to find. Meanwhile, De Souza, who never rolls over, made Kelly pay for his mistakes. He managed to surf two medium size waves solidly, and moved through to the Semifinals where he’ll face 2007 World Champion Mick Fanning.