CLOUDBREAK, Tavarua/Fiji (Monday, June 11, 2012) -- Kelly Slater (USA), 40, claimed his 49th elite tour victory today, taking out the Volcom Fiji Pro over Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, in pumping four-to-six foot (1.5 -- 2 metre) surf at Cloudbreak.
Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Volcom Fiji Pro culminated in exciting fashion today, with Slater and Medina each pushing the limits of high-performance surfing at the famed, oceanic lefthander.
Slater wasted no time in the Final against his young opponent, grabbing an 8.33 and a 9.83 in the opening half of the bout to put Medina on the ropes. The Brazilian, however, would not back down, claiming an 8.60 to put himself back in the hunt. Slater limited his scoreline to his two opening rides, and it proved enough for the Floridian to scalp the win as well as his first man-on-man victory over Medina.
Slater sent his first shots across the bow today during the Semifinals when the phenomenal natural-footer posted his second Perfect 10 of the event for a series of deep tube rides and critical turns.
After an absence at the previous event in Rio de Janeiro, Slater's win in Fiji bolts him up from 8th to 2nd on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
Medina's Runner-Up finish at the Volcom Fiji Pro rockets the young goofy-footer from 29th to 13th on the elite ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, two-time ASP World Champion, has taken over the ASP WCT ratings' lead with his Equal 3rd place finish at the Volcom Fiji Pro. A standout performer throughout the event, even having a crack at Cloudbreak during Friday's mega swell, Fanning was unable to find a rhythm in this morning's Semifinal bout with Medina.
C.J. Hobgood (USA), 32, who along with his brother Damien are both hugely respected for their prowess in Fijian waters, went on a tear in his Quarterfinal bout against Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, this morning, scoring a 9.97 in the dying moments to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
Hobgood's momentum, however, would run out in the Semifinals against eventual winner Slater. His Equal 3rd place finish moves him from 15th to 12th on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
VOLCOM FIJI PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 -- Kelly Slater (USA) 18.16
2 -- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.87
VOLCOM FIJI PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.93 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.57
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.50
VOLCOM FIJI PRO REMAINING QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.76
QF 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.14 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.76