Kelly Slater started the 2013 WCT season off with a bang by winning the Quik Pro Gold Coast down under and beating defending champion Joel Parkinson in the finals. Although there's a long season ahead, the opening event victory put the rest of the tour on notice that Kelly is showing no signs of slowing down and is in prime shape to fight for title 12!
Parko and Slater took different paths to the finals. Parko dominated Michael Bourez in the semifinals, scoring a perfect 10 on his first wave followed by an 8.17 on wave 2, both before Bourez had a wave scored. Slater's semifinal matchup was a battle against Mick Fanning, an Australian surfing (almost) in his backyard at Kirra. The 2 former world champs traded waves in a hotly contested heat that Slater clinched only with a 10 point ride in the heat's final minute. Call it a buzzer beater.
The final was held at Kirra in the best barrel conditions of the competition, and the defending champion and the 11 time champion took advantage, scoring some great waves and awesome tubes, forcing the judges to make tough decisions. Ultimately, Slater's 2-wave score of 18.56, including a near-perfect 9.83 ride, was just enough to edge out Parko's 17.57. Highlights here!
The WCT standings after 1 event:
- Kelly Slater, 10000 points
- Joel Parkinson, 8000 points
- Mick Fanning, 6500 points
- Michael Bourez, 6500 points
- Taj Burrow, 5200 points
- Julian Wilson, 5200 points
- Bede Durbidge, 5200 points
- Matt Wilkinson, 5200 points
The WCT remains in Australia for its next event, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, competition period from March 27 - April 7.