Banzai Pipeline, O`ahu, Hawai`i (Dec.18, 1996) -- Floridian Kelly Slater is
out to win a fourth Chiemsee Pipe Masters title to put alongside the fourth
Coca-Cola/ASP world surfing title he already owns, pulling out all the
stops on Hawaiian wildcard Braden Dias in round two today.
In small two to four foot surf, Slater, 24, the defending Pipe Masters champion folded himself into barreling tube rides, flew weightlessly through close-out floater turns and gained breakneck speeds to outpoint his opposition.
Slater was not so much putting on a show for a crowd with high expectations, but rather answering the challenge of Dias, 21, who got off to a flying start.
The final victory lay with Slater, whose perfect 10 point ride with a double tube ride at the midway mark of the heat, signaled the turn of the heat. Dias didn't let his home crowd support, answering back with a near perfect 9.50 tube ride, but Slater maintained a high pace. The final result: the top heat score of the day, 27.40 out of 30 for slater and 24.75 for Dias.
The irony was Dias posted the second highest of the day which would have been enough for him to win 20 of the other 21 heats held today.
"I think contest surfing is often where your best surfing comes out, especially when you're up against a great surfer who you know is going to push you," said Slater.
Slater is set for a steaming clash tomorrow against Hawaii's Shane Dorian, who holds the top heat score of the tournament so far, posted yesterday in round one. Dorian beat former world champion Damien Hardman.
Former Pipe Master and long-time tour surfer Gary Elkerton was eliminated in the very last heat of today's surfing by Hawaiian Kaipo Jaquias. The loss signaled the end of 13 years on the world tour. Elkerton, 32, desperately needed to make it through the second round to requalify for the 1997 Top 44, but the win never came. Jaquias score 22.75 to Elkerton's 17.90.
Unlike Elkerton, Brazilian Flavio Padaratz surfed through two rounds with everything he had today to reach the quarter finals and the Top 44 cut.
South Africa Paul Canning lost to world rated #2 Shane Beschen, (USA) after an incredible result in round one when he eliminated California's Rob Machado. Canning held the lead for part of the heat, but a late, focused charge by Beschen saw Canning bow out of the tournament and off the world championship tour.
Surfers were scored on the top three rides out of a maximum 10 points. Competition continues tomorrow with finals in the afternoon, surf permitting
The hotline number for updated, recorded contest information is: 808/638-5024
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