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TEN-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater (Florida, USA) turned on a tube-riding masterclass to teach teenage Australian wildcard Matt Banting a lesson in Round 3 of the Quiksilver Pro presented by Land Rover at Snapper Rocks today.
As big scalps continued to fall at the season-opening ASP World Title event on the Gold Coast, surfing immortal Slater defied the trend by dominating his heat against 16-year-old Port Macquarie prodigy Banting. The 39-year-old American posted a combined two-wave score of 14.93, which included a sensational 7.83 for a great barrel ride, to defeat emerging talent Banting with 9.87 and progress to Round 4.
Slater will next meet round three standouts Matt Wilkinson (Aus) and Michel Bourez (PYF).
Slater said that ‘Wilko’ was one the sports most progressive goofy footers.
Following the elimination of world No.5 Bede Durbidge (Aus) and American stalwart Taylor Knox (Aus) at the weekend, yet another stunning upset sent shockwaves through the Quiksilver Pro. Two-time world champion and current world No.4 Mick Fanning (Coolangatta, Qld, Aus), who has twice tasted victory at his hometown event, crashed out against Hawaiian world No.30 Dusty Payne to join the conga line of high profile casualties. The man known as `White Lightening’ struggled to strike in the tricky conditions, finishing with a combined score of 11 out of a possible 20 in a wave starved heat.
Payne was restricted to a score of just 11.77, but it proved enough in the end to progress to Round 4. Payne said Fanning was always capable of the win but the ocean failed to deliver.
Payne has proven to be a thorn in Fanning’s side in the past, knocking the Coolangatta surfer out of the prestigious Pipeline Masters in Hawaii last December.
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