Slater storms to Volcom Fiji Pro win
Reigning world champion Kelly Slater got his campaign for a 12th world crown back on track with victory at the Volcom Fiji Pro.
The 40-year-old beat Brazilian teenager Gabriel Medina in pumping four-to-six foot (one-and-a-half-to-two metre) surf at Cloudbreak to jump back up to second in the world rankings.
“That’s probably the best I could surf out there,” said Slater, who posted single waves scores of 8.33 and 9.83 out of a possible 10 early in the final.
“The barrel and the turn sections just lined up for me and I was able to do what I did. That was a perfect canvas for me.
“The waves just pumped today. It’s about time I got him. He had my number in the back half of last year and he’ll probably go on to beat everyone for the next 20 years.
“He can do it all and I think he proved that to a lot of people this week at Restaurants and out here at Cloudbreak.”
Medina took out Mick Fanning in the semi-finals, the Australian taking over at the top of the world championship standings after finishing tied for third with compatriot Joel Parkinson.
“I’m pretty happy with my result,” Medina said. “The waves here have been so good all week and it has been a great trip.
“I haven’t had the best season in terms of results but I’m very happy to make the Final and congrats to Kelly (Slater) – he was surfing amazing all event.”
The next stop on the world tour is not until August at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, where Slater is the defending champion.
VOLCOM FIJI PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.16
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.87
VOLCOM FIJI PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.93 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.57
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.50
VOLCOM FIJI PRO REMAINING QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.76
QF 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.14 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.76
CURRENT ASP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR TOP 5 (After Volcom Fiji Pro):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 24,750 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 23,700 pts
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 23,700 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,400 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 20,950 pts