Tweed Daily News

Slater backs our surf stars

WITH the local Tweed and Coolangatta boys leading the ASP ratings charge it came as little surprise surfing king Kelly Slater backed them for victory in the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro at Praia Vila this week.

A slow start in 2009 has resulted in the nine-time world champion slipping back to World No.25 and well out of the title race, leaving current No.1 Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta) No.2 Taj Burrow (WA) and No.3 Mick Fanning (Tweed) to spearhead the charge.

“I think it was pretty obvious yesterday who was surfing well,” Slater said.

“Joel and Mick got some really good waves.”

Parkinson reasserted his dominance amongst the world's best surfers in round one with an impressive 16 out of a possible 20 heat total en route to wins over Kai Otton (AUS), 29, and wildcard Guilherme Ferreira (BRA)

“It's difficult out there and there's a lot of water moving but I just tried to stay focused on the task at hand,” Parkinson said.

“I studied it a lot before the heat and worked out where I wanted to be and just aimed for that.

“My boards are feeling really good and I felt like I was cutting the way I wanted to out there.”

Fanning also progressed comfortably through to the third round, terrorising his opposition with the opening day's highest heat total of a 16.43 out of a possible 20, including a 9.50 for a blistering assault on a roping right-hander.

Over night Parkinson was set to battle Brazilian local Neco Padaratz while Fanning was to meet Hawaiin Roy Powers.

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