The surf was big, lumpy, challenging and cold but the action was hot, as all three surfers made shit look like shiny diamonds. Medina was showing some of the high performance brilliance that had won the event in France and he was leading 17 minutes into the heat. But then Slater rose to the occasion, going for a giant floater on a dump section to score a 9, and that gave him a total of 17+ points -- a lead that held as the clock ran out.
So that was dramatic and weird, but then Slater showed his true colours after the final horn had been sounded. Taking off on a dumpnig right, Slater pulled into a mass of gnarl that looked like a closeout section. Everyone gave up on him - including the cameramen - and then the crowd went berserk as Slater emerged from yet another impossible, shutdown barrel.
Classic Kelly Slater and even he seemed pleased as he stood at the water's edge, soaked up his for real 11th Title and bowed humbly to the crowd. Slater walked to the scaffold followed by a throng of devotees, and this time his victory speech had some spice. He is a Drama King.
Words and pics, Lucia Griggi
© Lucia Griggi