The 11-time World Champ moved through the final rounds of the Volcom Pro Fiji in dominant fashion today. In each heat he managed to devastate his competitors, beating Julian Wilson in the quarters by a margin of more than 10 points, and CJ Hobgood in the semis by 6 points. The final heat against Gabriel Medina was no different as Slater put his knowledge and experience at Cloudbreak to work, posting an 18.16 to Medina’s 10.87 in the perfect conditions.
The lopsided final was consistent with the majority of the contest, where most heats were decidedly won by whichever competitor was in rhythm with the ocean, while others floundered to find waves. The event will certainly not be remembered for what went on during competition so much as for the freesurf in massive Cloudbreak, which many of the top 32 opted out of.
With Slater taking the event win, he now moves up six spots in the World Championship ratings, sitting in second place behind Mick Fanning by a small margin. Even after skipping out on the last event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he trails Fanning by just 1,050 points. Last year, Slater managed to win the World Title while skipping the Jeffreys Bay event. Another win at Tahiti and a fifth place by Fanning would put him in the overall lead. And knowing Slater’s historical tendency to gain momentum at Teahupoo, it’s hard to feel that he’s not already in the driver’s seat as the WCT moves toward the halfway point of the season.