“Bull-shit, Bull-shit, Bull-shit,” the Australian contingent chanted from the VIP area as Kelly Slater scored a 9.07 to overtake Australian Phil MacDonald with just over two minutes left in the final of the Boost Mobile Pro at Lower Trestles. Slater’s big final wave pushed him past “Macca” who had dominated the wave-starved heat up until the final flurry.
The nationalistic Aussies sitting in the tented area may have been calling BS, but there was no denying Slater, who was hell bent to snatch as many points as possible with current world number two Andy Irons eliminated from the event.
Irons fell to MacDonald in the quarters, ending the possibility of an Irons-Slater final, and his exit presented Slater the opportunity to gain some points in the overall standings. Andy had been nipping at Slater’s heals after winning in Japan a couple weeks earlier (his first of 2005) and closing the gap to just a few hundred points.
MacDonald went on to beat Fanning in the semis, while Slater waxed Taj Burrow in a display of sheer desire in the other semi.
The win puts Slater 1,046 points ahead of Irons, and barring injury or withdrawal from future events, Andy has a mountain to climb to win his 4th consecutive title.
On the podium, Slater looked elated.
“I’m stoked,” he told the crowd, “I needed an 8.7, and I got a little luck at the right time.”
“My daughter’s here, and she’s never been to one of my contests before. She was supposed to catch a flight home today, but she stayed, and I’m really stoked.”
The WCT heads to France next, then Brazil and Hawaii. It’s gonna be a crazy race. Photos tomorrow morning. I gotta go get my car.
Top 5 In WCT Rankings After Event #8 – Boost Mobile Pro, Trestles, California
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 7,574 points
2. Andy Irons (HAW) 6,528
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5,838
4. Trent Munro (AUS) 5,618
5. Phil MacDonald (AUS) 5,363