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Gold Coast, Australia (Monday 7th March, 2011): 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.
Australian Matt Wilkinson turned on the high-flying tricks in his comfortable win over Brazilian Heitor Alves, producing one of the best single moves of the contest so far. Wilkinson clocked a combined score 16.60 to defeat Alves with 11.93, but the highlight of the heat was a radical manoeuvre called a Rodeo Clown, which if he landed would have been the best aerial ever seen in competition.
World No.7 Adrian Buchan (Avoca Beach, NSW) surfed a clinical heat to eliminate fellow Australian Josh Kerr (Coolangatta, QLD) to stay in the mix. The dangerous goofy-footer turned on a backhand attack to advance with a 13.17, while hometown hopeful Kerr could only manage 11.27.
Earlier in the day, contest organisers took advantage of the improved conditions to also complete Round 4 of the Roxy Pro. Sydney glamour girl Laura Enever booked a quarter-final showdown with four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore with a convincing victory over former world champion Sofia Mulanovich
The World Tour rookie with the model looks clocked a combined two-wave score of 13.10 out of a possible 20 to send Peruvian superstar Mulanovich packing with 10.83. Giant-killing Lennox Head teenager Tyler Wright also survived the sudden-death round with a powerful performance against Frenchwoman Pauline Ado.
Wright, who defeated Gilmore in the opening round, posted an impressive 16.67 to dispose of Ado with 11.50 and will now face Brazilian pocket rocket Silvana Lima (BRZ) in the quarter-finals.
Hawaiian surfing royalty Coco Ho also powered past Round 4, registering 15.46 to dominate Brazilian veteran Jacqueline Silva, who could only manage 5.70. Ho will now face Australian world No.2 Sally Fitzgibbons in the quarter finals while fellow Hawaiian Carissa Moore will battle former world champion Chelsea Hedges for a semi-final berth after dominating American Courtney Conlogue
It’s likely that the Roxy Pro presented by Land Rover will finalize tomorrow at Snapper Rocks on the southern end of the Gold Coast. The Quiksilver Pro presented by Land Rover expected to crown its 2011 champion on Wednesday Australia dateline.
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will be webcast LIVE via http://www.quiksilverpro.com.au