2005 Nova Schin WCT Brazil – Event Wrap-Up: Kelly Slater Wins The Title; Damien Hobgood Wins The Event

Damo Wins the Battle,Kelly Wins the War

Damien gets the royal victory parade

SURF: 3-4 feet and moderately onshore
EVENTS HELD: Men’s Round 3 Heat 11 to Finals
NATURE’S CALL: Who cares? It’s party time!
PREDICTED: The mother of all celebrations is about to begin.

Pro surfing was at its most unpredictable today. Check it. After dominating his heat yesterday in true man of steel fashion, Kelly goes home, has a quiet dinner with friends and goes to bed early. He’s in great spirits. Feeling it. Then he shows up for his heat this morning for his Round 4 heat with Travis Logie, and he suffers a full scale deja vu of his shockingly bad heat against Damien Hobgood last month in France. He makes mistake after mistake – mistiming easy maneuvers and allowing Logie into the best wave of the heat. Afterward, he only blames himself for the loss. Things go from bad to worse for Slates when Andy paddles out next and demolishes Bede Durbidge. This heat win doesn’t guarantee that Andy stays alive (he needs the next one to do that), but Kelly’s clearly devastated. He actually tries to leave the site and drive two hours back to Florianopolis before being talked out of it by {{{CJ}}} Hobgood.

Everyone waits around for Andy’s next heat against Nathan Hedge. Hedge sits upstairs with Kelly and tells him he’s going to do the impossible. "I am going to win this heat,” he says. “It’s going to end today.”

A few minutes later, the heat is on. Andy grabs a couple quick ones while Hedgey waits out the back. The surf has picked up a bit today and the sets are almost head-high. Hedge finds one and rips his way to a nine – making Praia Vila look like a soft day at North Narrabean. Andy storms back posting a 7.67 and a 9.3 in quick succession. Hog now needs a 7.81 and so he does something Andy would do: he waits. He passes up a set wave and then finds the one he wants behind it.

And you know what? What he does on that crumbly, left wall gives Kelly Slater his long awaited 7th World Title. Hog destroys that sucker. Andy is left out the back waiting for a last wave that never comes.

Kelly drinks in his long awaited victory

As the final seconds tick away, no one is looking out at the Hedge/Irons heat that is still in the water; they are all staring at Kelly in the competitors’ bleachers. Kelly can’t even bear to watch. He pulls his hood over his eyes. The horn blows. The new hats, shirts and foam fingers celebrating #7 come out. CJ hugs Kelly and takes photos of him. Tears stream down Kelly’s face.

He does a few interviews, then makes his way down to the ASP office where he grabs a hold of the World Title trophy. ASP CEO Brodie Carr tells him that this is only a temporary thing. This one is staying here and he’ll get the real one in Hawaii. “No way,” Kelly says. “I want this with me on the plane to Florida. I want to drink beer from it at the Island Hut.”

He heads to the beach for the ceremony. The pumped up Brazilian fans are going mad as he gives a speech and poses for photos. Meanwhile, the 3rd Quaterfinal is still going on. It doesn’t matter. No one’s watching it. They’re all down here celebrating with Kelly.

“Thank you, Brazil,” he says. “I feel like a second brother to you.”

He looks around for Andy, but he’s nowhere to be found. Andy has left the water. He’s raced down the beach away from the crowd, and is now reportedly stewing in the Billabong van in the parking lot.

2005 ASP World Championship Tour Ratings
(After 10 of 11 WCT events)1 – Kelly Slater* – 7896 points
2 – Andy Irons – 7260
3 – Phil MacDonald – 6060
4 – Mick Fanning – 6028
5 – Damien Hobgood – 5826
6 – Trent Munro – 5618
7 – Taj Burrow – 5512
8 – C.J. Hobgood – 5248
9 – Nathan Hedge – 5236
10- Cory Lopez – 4960
11- Joel Parkinson – 4689
12- Bruce Irons – 4643
13- Fred Patacchia – 4638
14- Victor Ribas – 4558
15- Jake Paterson – 4511
16- Dean Morrison – 4309
17- Travis Logie – 4119
18- Daniel Wills – 4068
19- Tom Whitaker – 4032
20- Paulo Moura – 3987* – Kelly SLater has clinched the 2005 ASP World Title