Quiksilver Pro France: 2nd place
If you thought Lowers went 10 on the Richter scale, then France broke the Richter (along with all of Owen Wright’s boards). Heading to Europe with a 4,500 point lead over Jordy, the Euro leg was where Kelly creates some major distance.
When Kelly came in from his quarters victory against Michel Bourez he said, “Oh my gosh. This is what we live for. There’s the craziest waves out there. You don’t want to get sixes, you want to get tens out there today. They’re out there, someone’s going to get a ten soon,” so you know France was good. And Kelly was the one who proceeded to do just that in his very next heat—get a ten on an impossible freefall drop in the barrel and send rookie Brett Simpson packing (Kelly’s second 10 of the year).
“It wasn’t one of those classic waves,” Slater said. “It was a little wonky at the start and I was waiting for it to hit the shallow part of the sandbar. I grabbed as hard as I could at the top of the wave to slow myself down, but my fins released and I ended up slipping down the face on the nose of my board. I thought I had blown it, but as I got to the bottom, my fins caught and I could reset my line and it worked out.”
Mick ends up beating Kelly in the final and putting himself into the title race for a breath. But the second place finish furthers Kelly’s lead, now 7,250 points heading to Portugal.
On to the Rip Curl Pro Portugal on the next page.
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