|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Kelly Slater, not quite Number One in the world going into the Hurley Pro, but when you really look at the numbers, that's probably about to change.|
The best thing to come from the Billabong Pro Tahiti, save the resurrection of Andy Irons, was the thickening of the world title plot. And while Kelly Slater may not have been able to best Irons in the battle for Teahupoo, he may well be on his way to winning the war for a record tenth world title. And where else should it happen but Lower Trestles.
Plainly put, Slater owns Lowers. Not only was it the site of his breakout win at the 1991 Body Glove Surfbout, but in the nine years since the San Clemente pointbreak has been on the Dream Tour calendar he's never missed an event. From 2004-2008 he never even missed a final. He owns three titles and a win ratio of 85 percent. He also holds the record for the highest heat score at Trestles. Need we say more?
And then there's the contender, Jordy Smith. The argument could be made that since moving to Newport he's spent a lot more time out at Lowers. To that we say Slater's girlfriend is a San Clemente native, and when the champ's not out surfing, he can be found playing rounds of golf on the muni with her old man, so yeah, he knows the ins and outs of town. Breaking down his World Tour showing at Lowers, Smith won two heats in both his first two starts, then last season lost his Rounds 1 and 2 heats by a combined total of 1.06 pts to finish 33rd.Read More »