The ASP put on quite a show during the European leg in France and in Portugal the action went beyond the tour stop at Peniche. While the news was huge with Gabriel Medina stumbling and preemptively leaving the lineup in a round 3 loss to Brett Simpson. Kelly Slater who at the time was sitting in second, missed another good opportunity to gain ground. Mick Fanning on the other hand was ready to make a move, and he did all the way to a win. With the victory he now has a legit shot at winning another world title. All 3 surfers still have a shot, and the ASP web site has all the scenarios right here.
Medina still in best shape to win it all, but if Fanning wins Pipe he’ll have to at least be in the final to still be champion, not bad for a 20 year old! Kelly Slater gunning for his 12th world title still has a shot but will need help from local wildcards and the rest of the surfers and hope for an early exit for Medina and he’ll have to hope for Fanning to stumble some as well. Intersting to note is that this year Kelly said, that its been a very frustrating year, not capitalizing on opportunities, it makes you wonder if he is already thinking about his post-asp career or if perhaps, its the new version of Kelly who crushes pumping surf before his heat and then shows up and possibly not as motivated as he once used to be. Either way, look at this clip of him earlier in the day with Aritz and Sebass at THE CAVE and you might understand just why, he was like meh in his heat.
But, back to the ASP — waves were pumping out there and not suprisngly, Mick, Jordy, and John John flourished in the shifty beach break tubes. Mick, quietly flew under the radar and enjoying the low key approach was able to take 1st and momentum back to Hawai’i and the final stop at Pipeline. It’s only right that every title race should come down to Pipe, its not always the case but it always makes for a better year for the ASP and the soon to be WSL.