Amid my daily news hunt online, it seemed like every other article I came across was an Aussie periodical’s take on Slater’s future for the 2009 tour. With Aussie Joel Parkinson in the lead for the title race at this point, it seems that everyone is attempting to make predictions about Slater’s mindset. Sure, he might have given a few quotes that hinted at taking a ‘vacation,’ but remember, when Slater’s winning it’s like a vacation for him. And don’t forget that he is probably one of the best at playing psychological games as well. So below is one take on Slater’s plans, but take it with a grain of salt, you know he wants number ten.
LET US KNOW BELOW WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ON SLATER’S TITLE RUN IN 09 ARE.
King Kelly in a losing effort. Photo: Josh Humbert
As reported by the Aussie Herald Sun.
Kelly Slater will consider giving up on his title defense after crashing out in the second round of the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.
And in a day of upsets, Australian points leader Joel Parkinson was knocked out by American journeyman Taylor Knox in their round-three heat.
Slater blamed outside distractions after his shock loss to little-known Spaniard Aritz Aranburu, which left the American languishing near the foot of the ratings after three straight 17th-place finishes.
While Slater is desperate to add a 10th world title to his resume, the 37-year-old admits he may have to put that dream on ice until next year.
“That might have given me a long vacation. It’s really decision time,” Slater said after his Teahupoo campaign came undone at the first hurdle. I don’t want to just fall off the map (in the title race) but I already have. I’m in the 20s there somewhere. But last year I had two (17th-placings) and had a ninth and missed an event (and still won the title). So numbers-wise, I’m still within the possibility of getting myself into something later in the year but I have to put something together.”
“I’ve actually got a lot of things on my mind, this year in particular. It’s probably been distracting me from just being able to surf so I need to sort that out. I know what those things are … it is something that will be sorted out next week.”
Slater was expected to cruise past Aranburu but the second-year rookie unleashed a mammoth 9.77 wave to set up the biggest win of his fledgling career.
The title race was thrown wide open when Parkinson, winner of the opening two events of the year, suffered a crushing 15.46 to 5.57 defeat to Knox.
For the full story, head to the Aussie Herald Sun.