PHOTO COURTESY ASP WORLD TOUR
For years, men took to the seas in search for the Fountain of Youth. Kelly Slater at the age of 41 has found it. The 11-time ASP World Champion and 2012 ASP World Runner-Up opened the 2013 ASP Tour with a win at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, over Joel Parkinson, who he lost the 2012 World Title to.
In what looked like a heavy weight Title Fight, Slater and Parkinson opened their 40-minute Final bout with a fast paced exchange of tube-riding displays, each landing a solid punch with the other landing an even better counter punch sending the lead back and forth before Slater landed a knockout score 9.93 for an incredibly-deep barrel.
“It was just fun today,” Slater said in a press release. “I really wanted to surf Kirra as I made known the other day and it was great fun out there. We thought the swell was going to be too East, but it’s really really good out there and to get to surf it with Joel (Parkinson) is even better. He’s one of the best and we had a lot of fun out there.”
The win marks Slater’s 52nd elite tour victory of his career, but Slater admits that there is still a long season ahead in terms of the chase for the 2013 ASP World Title.
“They’re all important but it’s nice to get off to a good start,” Slater said in a press release. “The three top seeds – Joel, myself and Mick all finished in the top three spots and Michel (Bourez) had a great event too. Momentum shifts throughout each season and a lot can happen. It’s probably the most talented field that has ever been on tour and there are nine more events. I’m committed to the tour this season.”
Parkinson and Slater looked unbeatable through the event, each collecting Perfect 10’s. As Parko looked to make a late charge to score big, Slater used his Priority and swooped in on a wave that looked like a winner for Parko, forcing Joel to salute Kelly with the middle finger.
“When Kirra is doing what it’s doing out there today, it doesn’t feel like an event,” Parkinson said in a press release. “I had some great waves and a lot of fun, and to get to do it with the singlet on is icing on the cake. I appreciate all the local support out here today and Runner-Up is a good start to the season. Bring on Bells.”