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Monday, December 16, 2013

ASP World Tour 2013 Season Recap: Mick Fanning vs. Kelly Slater

By Andrew Sachs
2013 ASP World Tour Season Recap: the 2013 season of the ASP surfing world tour will go down in history as a season as dramatic and exciting as any other, with an epic, year-long, back and forth battle between Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning that was only settled by Mick's last-minute heroics in his Round 5 and Quarterfinal heats at the last event of the season, Pipeline, that clinched him the title.  Kelly's 3 event wins in pumping conditions (Bell's, Cloudbreak, Pipe) topped Mick's 1 contest win (poor conditions, France), but Mick was Mr. Consistency, reaching the quarterfinals or better in 9 of 10 events.  The question is: should the most consistent surfer earn the world title or the one who wins the most in the best conditions?

Event 1: Slater Takes Down Parko to Win Quik Pro Gold Coast

  • Kelly's 2-wave score of 18.56 in the finals, including a near-perfect 9.83 ride, was just enough to edge Parko's 17.57 and win the Quik Pro Gold Coast.
  • Kelly knocked out Mick in the semifinals with a 10 point ride in the heat's final minute.

Event 2: Adriano De Souza and Carissa Moore Ring the Bell at the Rip Curl Pro Bell's Beach

  • Kelly flames out early, in Round 3 to Willian Cardoso, and Mick gets knocked out in a tight quarterfinal heat by eventual champion Adriano De Souza.
  • After event 2, Kelly (11,750 points) has slim lead over Mick (11,700 points) at the top of the overall standings.

Event 3: Jordy Smith Wins Billabong Rio Pro Over Adriana De Souza 

  • Adriano De Souza knocks off Kelly in the quarters, while eventual champ Jordy Smith takes down Mick in the semifinals.
  • Adriano takes overall lead in the standings, followed by Jordy and then Mick and Kelly.  Only time all season Mick and Kelly aren't 1 and 2.  

Event 4: Kelly Slater Repeats as Volcom Fiji Pro Champ

  • Kelly dominates the field at pumping Cloudbreak, with near perfect quarterfinal-semifinal-final scores of 20.00, 18.17 and 19.80, defeating Mick (15.87) in the finals.
  • Kelly moves back up to first overall (26,950 points), with Mick right behind (26,200 points).

Event 5: Joel Parkinson Surfs to the Oakley Pro Bali Title

  • Although Michel Bourez defeats Mick in a quarterfinal heat, Kelly bows out to CJ Hobgood in Round 5.  
  • Mick jumps into first place (31,400 points), with Kelly a close second (30,950 points).

Event 6: Ace Buchan Conquers Teahupo'o and the Billabong Pro Tahiti

  • En route to winning the event, Ace Buchan conquers Mick in the quarterfinals and then Kelly in the semifinals.
  • Kelly moves back into first overall (38,950 points), Mick falls back to second (37,900 points).

Event 7: Taj Burrow Knocks off Julian Wilson to Claim 2013 Hurley Pro

  • Trestles is a tough contest for both Kelly and Mick.  Kelly falls to Pat Gaudauskas in Round 3 and Travis Logie takes out Mick in Round 5, the first event of the season where Mick Fanning doesn't reach the quarterfinals.

Event 8: Mick Fanning Claims the Quik Pro France Title

  • Mick wins his first event of the season, besting Gabriel Medina in France.  Meanwhile, Felipe Toledo bounces Kelly in the quarterfinals.
  • Mick opens up the first sizable lead of the season (51,900 points) over Kelly (45,900 points).

Event 9: Kai Otton Wins the Rip Curl Pro Portugal

  • With the title race heating up and the pressure on, Kelly bombs out in Round 2 to local wildcard Frederico Morais, giving Mick a chance to clinch the title! But Kai Otton wipes out the chance by defeating Mick in the quarterfinals on his way to the event win.
  • Title race picture crystalizes: if Mick reaches the semifinals at Pipe, he clinches his 3rd world title.  Kelly's only shot at the title is to win at Pipe and have Mick get knocked out before the semis. 

Event 10: Kelly Slater Wins Pipe Masters - Mick Fanning Wins ASP World Title

  • In one of the most epic final days in world tour history in pumping waves at Pipe, Mick lands 9+ point waves in the final two minutes in each of his Round 5 and Quarterfinal heats, snatching victory from defeat and clinching the title with no room to spare, as Kelly wins the event and otherwise wins the world title if not for Mick's last-minute heroics.
  • John John Florence wins the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.