Kelly Slater showed no signs of age on Wednesday, defeating young Australian Owen Wright to claim his fifth Hurley Pro at Trestles.
The 39-year-old 10-time world champion took out Wednesday’s final in San Diego with a hard-fought win over 21-year-old Wright, moving past the Australian in the final exchanges to claim a 17.50 to 16.74 victory.
It was the third successive final between the pair, who occupy the top two spots on the ASP World Title rankings.
Slater’s victory moved the American to 44,950 points, with Wright next best on 39,900 and another Australian, Joel Parkinson, third on 35,400.
Slater produced his best surfing of the tournament on the final day, scoring the highest total of competition with an 18.40 to defeat Brazil’s Heitor Alves in his semi-final, while Wright comfortably accounted for fellow Australian Julian Wilson in his semi.
Victory handed Slater his 48th elite ASP World Tour victory, and his third of this season.
‘Owen (Wright) is tough and he’s been surfing great,’ Slater said.
‘There really are no weak points to his surfing and he’s going to be a standout in every spot.’
‘A lot of the guys tried to get him this week and I got lucky in that last exchange. I was taking the first wave of the set under his priority and once I got priority I wanted to wait.’
‘It almost looked like there wasn’t a wave after Owen’s. It’s been fun surfing against Owen and surfing Lowers. It’s been a great week and thanks everyone for the crazy support, it’s been wonderful.’
Wright said the final had been a disappointing one in terms of waves, but felt the last sets had at least made his showdown with Slater exciting.
‘I’ve been enjoying the rivalry,’ Wright said. ‘We’ve had some great heats and the last three finals have been great.’
‘I’m glad the sets came through at the end. It was a bit of a dud final but I’m glad that last exchange came though at the end. It made it exciting.’
Wilson, 22, surfed well throughout the event, and produced the highest single-wave score for the tournament with a 9.80 in his quarter-final win over compatriot Joel Parkinson.