Kelly Slater, current ASP WCT No. 2, was methodical in his Round 3 heat, navigating both Pipeline and Backdoor with precision for a commanding win over wildcard Billy Kemper. Slater earned the day's highest heat total, an 18.63 out of 20, for his efforts.
"It drives you nuts when you're in the event and the waves are so good on the opening day," Slater said. "Backdoor got a little better today because the swell got a little more North, but last night was A-plus Pipe and everyone knew about it. There are really good waves out there. We were scrapping to get anything going and I just got in synch. Billy (Kemper) and I were scrapping for sure and he let me know he wanted to win that heat as bad as I did."
"We've had enough time to think about it," Slater said. "We're all processing it in our different ways. Mick (Fanning) is probably the most relaxed because he's a long shot. He knows what he has to do, he needs to win heats, whereas if I make it through the next heat then Parko (Joel Parkinson) has to beat me, but Joel and I aren't going to come up against each other unless we're in the Final. If you're thinking about that during your heat, you're not thinking about what's going on in the water. You have to be clear minded from all of that stuff."