SAN CLEMENTE — Kelly Slater once again proved he’s the king of Lower Trestles.
Slater beat Australian Joel Parkinson in the final heat of the Hurley Pro, meaning he has now won six of the last eight Association of Surfing Professionals World (ASP) contests at Lower Trestles.
It’s another impressive contest for Slater, who beat Owen Wright in the final minutes of last year’s Hurley Pro.
Slater was ranked No. 4 in ASP standings prior to the event. But with the win, he still has a chance to pull in his 12th world title. Although a long-shot, Slater can take comfort in knowing the winner of the Hurley Pro, stop six of 10 on the ASP tour, has gone on to capture surfing’s world title in recent years.
On Sunday, the world’s best surfers kicked off the four-day Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles, arguably Southern California’s best spot.
Carlsbad resident Taylor Knox was among the pro surfers battling it out at the famed cobblestone point in San Clemente. Knox was defeated in round three of the contest by Parkinson, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the ASP standings.
With a south swell building throughout the contest, Wednesday and Thursday saw rippable 4-to-6 foot waves. Parkinson took advantage of the pristine conditions, posting a 9.93 out of 10 and other high scores Wednesday to advance straight to the quarterfinals before falling to Slater in the finals.
Mick Fanning, another Australian, came into the contest looking to solidify his spot as No. 1 in the rankings. Fanning, however, lost to Slater in the semifinals.