Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Kelly Slater Boosts into the Quarterfinals

Kelly Slater was nothing short of spectacular on day 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

The 11-time world champ turned in two of the most astonishing performances, earning himself a spot in the quarterfinals.

In his Round 3 heat against Nic Muscroft, the hometown favorite and wildcard nearly took down Slater with a 9.5 in the dying minutes. Needing an 8, Kelly took off on an average set wave as the horn blew. One big turn on the outside followed by what has to be the craziest air ever done by a 40-year-old in the history of surfing– a full rotation helicopter air in backwashy shorebreak– earned him a 9.23 and the victory.

Kelly would then go on to blitz his three-man Round 4 heat. His 18.50 heat total was the highest of the round, and second only to Joel Parkinson for highest of the day. While we’ve come to expect last minute heroics from Slater, what’s remarkable is the way his surfing has evolved to incorporate difficult airs in high-pressure situations.

Yet another day of solid swell is expected for the Men’s finals to run tomorrow.