Ace tackles Slater and comes out on top in Tahiti
FOR the second time in his 10th year ASP career, Adrian "Ace" Buchan took down the Greatest - aka Kelly Slater - this time at Teahupoo for the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.
Ace was too good for Slater in the final and Mick Fanning in the semis. The likeable goofy from Avoca has been chipping away quietly since emerging as one of Australia's best juniors in the new millennium of pro surfing.
A couple of years behind Parko and Fanning, big things were expected of Buchan. The 30-year-old has been somewhat of a journeyman on tour, a surfer's worker of sorts and it's encouraging to see Ace score his second World Tour victory.
It certainly makes up for a blatant mistake on the judging panel earlier this year when Ace went down against Gabriel Medina in Brazil. Local passions were running high and appeared to have led to a terrible ruling against Buchan when he clearly had priority. But Ace took it on the chin and what goes around, came around in Tahiti!
The ASP World Tour is now down to the business end and with only four events remaining, Robert Kelly Slater, 41, has awakened again, grabbed the world ratings lead and is smelling blood eyeing off a 12th world title.
So far he has two wins under his belt while his adversaries like Mick in runner-up is without a win and Joel in third with one win. The Boys can overhaul the champ but they will have to win more than once to stave off a rampaging Slater. It's just crazy how he keeps coming back; the man is fighting machine with a competitive edge like no other.
Next up is another super fave of Slater's - Trestles, California in September, followed by Hossegor in October where he won there from Parko last year, then Peniche at Portugal and finally Pipeline in Hawaii.
"Trestles, Europe and Pipe is a pretty strong leg for me historically," Slater said.