Kelly Slater Wins The 2011 Nike US Open Of Surfing


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Kolohe Andino can do these in his sleep. Photo: Checkwood

Kelly Slater Strikes Again

After Dusty Payne dispatched Tanner Gudauskas beach commentator rockin fig asked whom he’d prefer surf against in the Semi’s- Kelly or Taj. “They are both my favorite surfers but I’ll pick Kelly. He Slatered me at Bells so it’d be nice to get revenge.”

Twenty minutes later Kelly snuck past Taj in a trade off of tubes, granting Dusty that opportunity.

And once again he was Slatered when the champ landed a last minute hail mary backside air reverse and a 9.7 to advance to the finals.

Different contest. Same result.

In the final against Yadin Nicol, Slater opened with an 8.5 for another air reverse -this time on a right, and backed it up with a 7.7 in the first five minutes. In need of a quality score Yadin patiently waited outside to strike back. And waited. And waited.

24 minutes later, he was still waiting. Was this a silent protest of some sort? A holdout? Having most likely qualified for the WT was Yades renegotiating his Hurley contract whilst surfing in the event? Would he be the first surfer not to score a single point in the history of an ASP final?

With time winding down he at least answered that last question – riding straight and chop hopping on a closeout. The crowd applauded the effort and Yadin came up laughing – in all seriousness elated at the fact he made the finals and possibly the WT in the process.

“I guess maybe he wanted me to win?” laughs Kelly post victory. “I was frustrated for him. He was waiting on the bigger sets and the two that came in the final were closeouts. I got my scores on the insiders.”

And what did he take away from this week, other than $100,000 and his first US Open victory in fifteen years?

“I guess I gained some confidence. I haven’t done well in the last couple of contests I’ve entered so this feels good.”

Like a Ten-Time ASP World Champion needs any more confidence. That’s just a scary thought.—Zander Morton

2011 Nike US Open Of Surfing Champion Kelly Slater. Photo: Checkwood

2011 Nike US Open Of Surfing Champion Kelly Slater. Photo: Checkwood

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Result:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27
2 – Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.40

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.94 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.90
SF2: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.44 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.87

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.10
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.27
QF 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.44 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.33
QF 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.60 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.26

Nike US Open Of Surfing Champion Sally Fitzgibbons. Photo: jackenglish.com

Nike US Open Of Surfing Champion Sally Fitzgibbons. Photo: jackenglish.com

Sally Fitzgibbons Wins The Nike US Open Of Surfing

Sally Fitzgibbons did not feel like the girl who was kicked in the face with sand as I walked up the beach from the 2011 US Open of Surfing. I was in a hurry for the stage and the girl was lying in the middle of crowd and screaming at me. The screams were loud, but they were ignored because I needed to see Sally. Sally was on stage. Sally was being champion. She held up her trophy and waved to the crowd. “I can’t wait to come back and do it all over again next year,” she says smiling, “this event just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”

Yes, Sally, the US Open does keep getting bigger and bigger. The excitement keeps getting bigger and bigger. The post-heat exodus keeps getting bigger and bigger. Throughout the day, the lines for the outhouses keep getting bigger and bigger because the outhouses were actually closed. They were overflowing with manure. It was all pandemonium. “It was like being in a mosh pit at a concert,” said a concerned fifteen-year-old girl who had lost her mom to the pandemonium.

On Sunday, the pandemonium was lucky enough to witness the battle between Sally Fitzgibbons and Lakey Peterson. Surfers, doctors, businessmen, car salesmen, and housewives. Lawyers. Terrible lawyers. Terrible tattoo artists.Terrible surf journalists. “Lakey. You have exactly 62 seconds to get a 7.96 for the win,” the event announcer said over the roar of the crowd. Two waves earlier Lakey had been soaring down the line with enough speed for an air. If she stuck it, she could have maybe been the champion. But instead the weird shorebreak wouldn’t cooperate as a landing pad and she fell. “I wanted to boost the inside section, but hesitated last minuting thinking I should be safe and just do a turn instead,” she admits on stage holding the second place trophy.

But Lakey was still happy. She had already won at the US Open. The Juniors division. Now she wanted to be fair. Girls always want to be fair. Today it was Sally’s turn.—Alex Ryden

Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Final Result:
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.23
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.40

Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.67 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.46 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 14.16

Kelly Slater. Photo: Checkwood

Kelly Slater. Photo: Checkwood

ASP Press Release:
Kelly Slater And Sally Fitzgibbons Win Nike US Open Of Surfing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California / USA (Sunday, August 7, 2011) – 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.

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, was also victorious today 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. “I guess Yadin (Nicol) wanted me to win because he didn’t catch any waves,” Slater said. “I was just really frustrated for him because he was sitting out the back waiting for the big sets and the big sets were close outs. The small ones he was just two far outside and I got them. I think what happened is I got the 8.50 to start and he was just going to be patient. If he got a good one he would have thrown a big rotator, but it just never came.”

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.

“Dusty (Payne) had priority and he had gone on a couple of lefts that kind of fizzled out on him and he was probably thinking that left was going to do the same thing his other ones did,” Slater said. “It just let me get going on the face enough and I just tried to rotate as hard as I could and somehow the board stuck to my feet.”

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.

“Kelly started off strong with the 8.5 and I thought I’d wait for a good wave and I think I waited too long,” Nicol said. “At the start of this week I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be in the Final with Kelly. I love it. Sometimes things work out and you make the Final and I’m stoked, I’m over the moon.”

Yadin, 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 for the final elite events. “There are still two World Tour events to go so it doesn’t completely change my life just yet,” Nicol said. “It definitely helps the vibe though.”

Fitzgibbons, who finished second on the ASP Women’s World Title Series, was strong on both her forehand and backhand in the final and fought off the determined wildcard to clinch her third elite event on to finish her 2011 season. “It’s such an unbelievable feeling to get chaired up the beach,” Fitzgibbons said. “There is just a sea of people and it’s one of my biggest achievements. To get three wins this year, it has been a really special year and although I didn’t get the title, I can’t believe I’ve won this event.”

Fitzgibbons feels that there is more to come for the highly-talked about progressive movement in women’s surfing and wildcards such as Lakey Peterson are a perfect example of the future of the sport. “Today was just about connecting the dots and stepping it up,” Fitzgibbons said. “I think the future is bright for our sport. Lakey (Peterson) is only 16 and she was in both finals in this event it was a great week for her, but to get the win was an amazing way to cap off the year.”

Peterson proved to be a giant killer throughout the entirety of the Women’s Nike US Open of Surfing, taking wins over veteran Melanie Bartels (HAW), 28, ASP Women’s World Title Rookies Tyler Wright (AUS), 17, Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 17, and Laura Enever (AUS), 19, as well as freshly crowned ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore but was unable to find the scores needed to surpass Fitzgibbons in the Final.

“I’m stoked with the way this week has turned out,” Peterson said. “It was an honor to surf against Sally (Fitzgibbons) and I’m really happy to make the Final in my first World Tour event. Peterson, who won the ASP 4-Star Nike US Open of Surfing Pro Junior yesterday, asserted herself as a frontrunner among the progressive movement of women’s surfing via dominant run at the Nike US Open of Surfing. The young Californian was the only competitor to put a stop to Moore’s run of finaling in every ASP Top 17 contest this season when she topped the Hawaiian in their Semifinals matchup.

“Winning yesterday was what I wanted to do, to win in the Juniors and do well in this event,” Peterson said. “My heat against Carissa (Moore) felt like no pressure and I just wanted to go for it and I’m just so excited to win that heat. I’ve always wanted to surf against Carissa. She really pushes my surfing to the next level and is an amazing friend.”

Highlights from the 2011 Nike US Open of surfing can be found at www.usopenofsurfing.com. For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com

The Nike US Open of Surfing was a massive action sports festival which also includes Skate, BMX, Art, Music and Fashion shows all of which are free to the public.

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Final Result:
1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27
2 – Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.40

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.94 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.90
SF2: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.44 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.87

Nike US Open of Surfing Men’s Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.93 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.10
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.27
QF 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.44 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.33
QF 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 11.60 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 8.26

Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Final Result:
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.23
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.40

Nike US Open of Surfing Women’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.67 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.46 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 14.16

About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.