Owen Wright will get his turn. It looks like he'll have to wait for Kelly Slater to first retire though.
In a thrilling final that pitted the defending 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater against the defending ASP Rookie of the Year Owen Wright, Slater won the 2011 Hurley Pro at Trestles on literally the last wave of the event, besting Wright to extend his lead over the Aussie in his chase for a record-extending 11th ASP World Title.
"Owen (Wright) is tough and he's been surfing great," said Slater. "There really are no weak points to his surfing and he's going to be a standout in every spot. A lot of the guys tried to get him this week and I got lucky in that last exchange. I was taking the first wave of the set under his priority and once I got priority I wanted to wait. It almost looked like there wasn't a wave after Owen's. It's been fun surfing against Owen and surfing Lowers. It's been a great week and thanks everyone for the crazy support, it's been wonderful."
Slater and Wright's top two scores came as a result of the final four waves of the final, with Slater and Wright exchanging their highest-scoring waves at the very end of the heat with just seconds remaining on the clock. For a very brief moment, Wright had the lead over Slater, with Slater's final wave score being calculated after the surfers had already come out of the water. When the final score came in, Slater celebrated his fifth career Hurley Pro win and 48th career contest victory jubilantly inside the surfer's tent after the contest was already over.
"I've been enjoying the rivalry," said Wright. "We've had some great heats and the last three finals have been great. I'm glad the sets came through at the end. It was a bit of a dud final but I'm glad that last exchange came though at the end. It made it exciting."
For the first time in years, Slater has an legitimate rival in the water in the form of Owen Wright. The two surfers have now competed in three consecutive contest finals, the first time in ASP World Tour history this has happened. Slater won the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Wright responded with a victory at the Quiksilver Pro New York, and Slater now has built tremendous momentum for an unprecedented 11th ASP World Title with his win at the Hurley Pro at Trestles.
Slater's quest for an 11th World Title now heads to Europe, where the contest window for the Quiksilver Pro France opens on October 4th. Shortly after, the tour will move to Portugal before returning to the United States, where the ASP World Title race could be decided off the coast of San Francisco, home of the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco. That event is just over a month away, with the contest window opening November 1st and closing November 11th.
To read about Kelly Slater's first time surfing Maverick's, his nastiest wipeouts, what Slater enjoys doing beyond competitive surfing and more, all in his own words, purchase the new book Dogwild & Board: Stories, Interviews and Musings from a Surf Journalist. Autographed copies are available at San Francisco Surf Company, Mavericks Surf Shop and Santa Cruz Skate and Surf Shop.