Owen Wright has taken the inaugural Quiksilver Pro New York, in four-foot barrels at Long Beach, Long Island. Sunny day, packed beach and tight battles marked the final day of this historic surf contest bathed by the Atlantic Ocean.
Kelly Slater was playing in home waters and wanted his 48th event, but Owen Wright had the bandit attitude. He was off to steal Slater’s East Coast trophy and USD$300,000.
The Australian said ‘game on’ and opened the rematch with a secure wave: 7 points. The second ride was even more confident: 9.23 points. It was slob grab time, indeed. Third wave: 8.60 point. Wright was fired up.
Slater responded with a good 8-point surf ride to recover chances in the final. The time was running out and Wright had it in his hands. In the end, Slater broke his board. Watch the final heat highlights, here.
“I’m just lapping it up right now,” Wright said. “I’ve always wanted to be in Final with Kelly (Slater) and last week at Teahupo’o was great. I think Kelly is ready for payback already. Thank you Long Beach, how good is this? Look at these waves!”
“Thanks to Quiksilver, we’ve been looked after all week and they made it really easy for us and thanks for the $300,000. Thanks to my coach Dean Davies, it’s been up and down and we’ve worked towards a win and it means a lot. Thanks to my friends and family at home. I’ve been getting messages from them and my Dad, I wish he was here, but another day. Thanks heaps, I really appreciate the support.”
The Australian’s win moves him to No. 2 on the ASP World Title rankings and is now within striking distance of his first ASP World Title. Slater was in deadly form on the final day of Quiksilver Pro New York competition, but was unable to overtake Wright’s rampaging forehand assault in the Final.
“I just want to say thanks to everybody,” Slater said. “The swell is offshore and we almost didn’t have the contest last week and it all came together. I’m stoked for Owen to get his first win, congratulations.”
“I’m stoked to be on the East Coast and I think we might have a surf with bravest and finest with firefighters and policemen tomorrow. Thanks to everyone at Quiksilver for an amazing week. We’ve been taken care of like never before. Thanks!”
In the first heat of the Quarters, Taj Burrow defeated Jadson Andre by a very narrow margin: 14.77 against 14.37 points. The Australian was through to the Semis.
Kelly Slater bettered the competition’s standout. Josh Kerr lost to the world champion by only 0.50 points. Alejo Muniz beated his fellow Brazilian Heitor Alves by two points.
Kelly Slater versus Taj Burrow. What a heat! Slater came from behind to claim victory in the last minutes. His aerial moves were not being completed until a final 10-point wave gave him the ticket to the inaugural New York final. Total heat score: 19.07 points against Burrow’s 18.33 points.
While Slater was resting, Alejo Muniz and Owen Wright were fighting for the final surf seat at Manhattan’s prime beach. Wright kept Muniz under control through the entire heat and finished with a total of 14.84 points. The Tahitian final would have to be repeated.
The Quiksilver Pro New York proved to be a smart and fruitful bet. Thousands of spectators followed the entire event online and live at Long Beach.
QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK FINAL:
1 – Owen Wright (AUS) 17.90
2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 14.53
QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.07 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.33
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.84 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.63