Kelly Slater Wins The Quiksilver Pro

SURF: 2-4 feet and clean
EVENTS HELD: Men's Round 4 to Finals
NATURE'S CALL: It'll probably fire for weeks on end now that the event's over
PREDICTED: Kelly doesn't go to Bells unless it's pumping

"It's good to win a contest, but to beat the top guys to get there is even better." Kelly Slater

Today was "{{{Rocky}}} IV." Okay, admittedly, not the best of the Rocky series but apropos for what happened today on the Gold Coast. Kelly Slater, aging warrior, faced off against both the heaviest rival from the recent past and his fiercest foe from the present – two guys he'd hadn't beaten in years, and he knocked em' both out.

Riding a 5-11 Merrick Flyer that was perfect for gliding over long sections and powering into huge tailslides and reverses, he was unstoppable. Mick Fanning, 2007 world champ, and Ivan Drago for today, hit the ropes hard. Mick had everything going for him – hometown crowd, mastery of the lineup and the confidence that winning a world title brings. He even had the DJ play Tool – his favorite warm up music before the final.

But Kelly went into full Balboa battle mode to fight him off. With theme music playing in his head, he high fived the entire crowd on the way to the lineup. It was quite a contrast to Mick's iceman demeanor. In fact, Kelly looked way more happy and content than Mick all day. In between each heat, he spent most of his time playing with the young children of Joel Parkinson and Troy Brooks.

Although he nearly ran out of gas in the final, he still managed to rip off a 8.67 and a 9.27 in the first half of the heat, leaving Mick needing a big score. No quality waves appeared for the remainder and Mick was done.

Kelly deserved the win. He was easily the form surfer of the event and, as he did at Trestles, he saved his best for the last day. His quarter final against Andy was pure domination. The two hadn't faced off man on man since the 2005 Japan final and Andy is still one of the few guys that Kelly has a losing record against. The vibe between them was surprisingly positive and relaxed. "Just like old times," Andy said to Kelly right before they enthusiastically shook hands. United now by a common opponent (Mick) and mellowed by the passing of time, everything seemed different. In the water it was all Slates whose surfing looked much more committed and radical than Andy's.

The semi against Jeremy Flores was actually more of a battle. The young Frenchman, who beat Kelly last year at small Teahupo'o, jumped out to an early lead. Slater stayed patient, though, and hit back with a 9.8 with ten minutes remaining that was so sick that most of the pros thought it should have been a ten. Then Jeremy made a mistake by going for a weak one leaving Kelly out the back to stalk the lineup and claim the score he needed to get through.

So what's next for him? Yesterday he flatly stated that he's not going to the next event at Bells, but as Andy said yesterday, that doesn't mean anything. If he looks at a map in a few days and sees a big purple blob in the Southern Ocean, he could easily change his mind.

Until then, as always, we will wait. But we'll be comforted by the fact that an American is back in the lead of the ASP ratings, and his name is Kelly Slater.

Even with one score higher than 9 in the final, Fanning was unable to match Slater

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Final Results:
Final: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.94 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.23

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.23 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.70
Semifinal 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.47 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.17

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.66 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.34
Quarterfinal 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.34 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.06
Quarterfinal 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.94 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.16
Quarterfinal 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 10.94

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.73 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.17
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.50 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 11.17
Heat 3: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.60 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.34
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.34 def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 10.10
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.84 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.00
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.34 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 10.40
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.50
Heat 8: Andy Irons (HAW) 15.50 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 11.67

ASP World Tour Ratings after the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 1200 points
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 1032 points
3. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 876 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 876 points
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 732 points
5. Dean Morrison (AUS) 732 points
5. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 732 points
5. Andy Irons (HAW) 732 points
9. Ben Dunn (AUS) {{{600}}} points
9. Taylor Knox (USA) 600 points
9. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 600 points
9. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 600 points
9. Taj Burrow (AUS) 600 points
9. Tim Reyes (USA) 600 points
9. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 600 points
9. Kai Otton (AUS) 600 points

Slater took out Adriano de Souza, Andy Irons, Jeremy Flores and
finally Mick Fanning en route to his Quiksilver Pro victory