CONGRATULATIONS to Mick Fanning who tore up the favourites' book in an exciting final, defeating Dane Reynolds and snagging the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles for the first time. Fanning learned his lesson from the the US Open final and took big early leads against Dane Reynolds and Slater in the semis. Neither recovered from the early set-backs and it allowed Fanning to express himself and compound the pain. Trestles never really turned on but was never really expected to either. Super rippable waves in the head-high range slipped through allowing freedom specialists like Dane Reynolds to launch time and again. Dane got to the final as pretty much the favourite, but Mick Fanning who destroyed Kelly Slater in the semis had a different idea. Hurley's $105,000 big money competition was an deserved success. Making a lot of their financial commitment to the sport, it was a slick production with excellent commentary, a quality webcast and deserved a big audience. The future surely is web not edited TV highlights.
Dane Reynolds smoked the ever popular Rob Machado with a super dominant performance in Round 4: just getting that little more critical, just popping a little air and making it all look too easy. Sometimes watching Dane makes you know you're looking at the next level. He's not consistent enough yet but after a 9.7 against Taylor Knox in the quarter finals all he needed was a 5 to make the heat pretty safe. Instead he went for air after air, landing an 8.5 at the third attempt and comboing his opponent in a brutally casual fashion. Advancing through to the finals he looked tired and allowed himself to be dominated by Fanning - a real shame as he was probably the singe stand-out surfer of the event.
King Kelly was thought to be uncomfortable facing Heitor Alves in the quarters, a few minutes into it he had Alves almost on the floor before using his mastery of all aspects of competition to apparently compel Alves into believing his time was up only halfway through the heat. Moving into the semis he lost out to Fanning's early start and managed to implant his board into his arm.
Mick Fanning was his super-slick quicksilver self, sliding his tail all over the face of the wave but undoubtedly he deserved the win.