Reigning 10-Time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 39, has won the 2011 ASP PRIME Nike US Open of Surfing for the first time since 1996, defeating Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26, in a dominant final in two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at the iconic Huntington Beach Pier to claim the winners purse of USD100000.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, was also victorious when she clinched the final stop on the 2011 ASP Women’s World Title series, the Nike US Open of Surfing, when she topped dangerous wildcard Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, CA), 16, in a hard-fought battle.
Slater quickly asserted his dominance in the Final against Nicol when he launched a frontside air-reverse and solidified the ride on the reform to earn an 8.50 and backed the ride up with a 7.77 to put the Australian in an early combination-situation and controlled the heat throughout the entirety of the bout.
In one of the most lopsided heats in recent memory, Nicol didn’t open his account until after 30 minutes into the 35-minute final to finish with a total heat tally of 2.57.
Nicol said second place was still a dream come true.
Nicol fought hard throughout the entirety of the ASP PRIME competition, taking out dangerous South African Royden Bryson (ZAF), 28, and prodigious Californian Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 17, on the Final day of competition, but struggled to find a wave in the Final against Slater.
Nicol, who was rated No. 36 entering the US Open of Surfing, now sits at 27th on the ASP World Rankings, moving him inside the coveted ASP Top 32 midyear cut for the halfway mark of the year, but with two events remaining on the ASP World Title Season.
Nicol remained guarded in claiming his spot and said he wouldn’t believe it until he was competing at the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles, the first possible ASP men’s World Title event he could contest as an elite surfer.
Slater went on an absolute rampage on the final day of competition and fought his way back into a tough battle to overtake progressive Hawaiian Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HI), 22, by launching a hail-mary, no-grab backside 360 air. The massive punt garnered the highest single-wave score of Nike US Open of Surfing competition, 9.77 out of 10, as well as the highest heat-total of 17.94 out of 20.
An intense quarterfinal match-up saw Slater (USA) narrowly eliminate world no.5 Taj Burrow (Aus) earlier in the day. Thirty three year old Burrow opened quickly for an early lead, but Slater capitalized when his opponent gave up priority for a small set wave, leaving the Floridian to lock in a heat high 8.40 and take the lead midway to move through to the semi-finals later today.
Final score quarter final heat scores: Slater 15.50 to Burrow’s 15.27.
Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Result:
- Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27
- Yadin Nicol (AUS) 2.57
Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinals Results:
- Kelly Slater (USA) 17.94 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.90
- Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.44 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.87
Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinals Results:
- Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.10
- Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.27
- Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.44 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.33
- Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.60 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.26
The US Open of Surfing was hugely successful all week with over half a million people attending the event throughout the week. The inaugural Australian Open of Surfing is set to take place at Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach 11 – 19 February 2012 and like the US Open will be a global, multifaceted youth and sporting event that will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art.
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