Kelly Slater on his way down to meet Davy Jones desperately scrabbling for a score in the final seconds is an unusual sight.
Kelly couldn't find a wave in the tricky conditions, his 13th here is a keeper and suddenly this 2012 seasaw title race looks a whole lot more interesting. "I should probably have refused to paddle out, it was right on the low tide and there were no open waves out there, it's so close to the beach there was nowhere to go. It's probably the most frustrating heat I've ever had on tour.... I don't know what to say, it's just luck of the draw sometimes. If you get in the right sort of current, or out of the wrong current, and you find a little corner that's not really a set, maybe you can do something with it. It's tough, but Julian (Wilson) just got a 10 so say what you want."
"It's not the end of the world," Slater said. "Nobody died, I just lost a heat. It's a bummer for me, but it's just the way it is. There's only one way to go at Santa Cruz for me. I've surfed there once and I got last in my first heat, it was in 1994 I think. We'll see what happens. If there are waves, there will be plenty of opportunities to surf your heat, but I do expect to have to deal with the high-tide heats and a lot of backwash, and if it's small it'll be hard against the cliff."