Fanning Wins at Bells - Mick Fanning defeats Kelly Slater in a dramatic final

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April 6, 2012 – Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, has claimed the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Ranger over reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, in offshore three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach.

Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach culminated in dramatic fashion today with pundits calling it the “best Final in event history.”

The Australian and American went blow for blow throughout the 35-minute bout, exchanging massive scores and the lead several times before the dust settled.

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JLW
2 years ago

Slater was ROBBED in that final. The people on the beach know it, Kelly knows it, and Mick knows it. Maybe this will motivate Kelly to go for 12. Kelly Slatwelve!

jeffsf
2 years ago

I do not at all know it... Great final and deserving winner

Watched the whole final and thought the results were valid. Fanning's big carves and full wave execution will and should beat shorter rides with air tricks at Bells Beach

rmk
2 years ago

The scoring in the Final was a bit ridiculous. Slater and Fanning rode waves back-to-back. Fanning had two great carves, but fell on his last move. Slater kept more in the pocket with more critical, aggressive turns (albeit less pretty). He got more turns in and didn't fall. Announcers said that while it was tough to pin the scores, Slater had the slight better of the exchange. Slater got an 8.07 and Fanning got a 9.7. That disparity just made no sense, even if you liked Fanning's wave better. I tend to think that the judges were uncomfortable with someone effectively winning Bells with one big air maneuver and therefore way underscored that wave for Slater and overscored Fanning's wave. Now -- Kelly probably has been the beneficiary in the past of some overscores .... so maybe it is Karma, but I would've been upset if that had happened to me.

going_left
2 years ago

i watched the whole final too and feel that ###### 360 carve was a little underscored but it was not the 8.6 he needed. Best heat/final I have ever watched. Kelly will still clinch #12. So don't you worry you worry'ers.

tracey
2 years ago

I'll admit, watching the waves side by side, Fanning's carves were impressive. I thought they were better than Slaters carves leading up to the tricks.

I would hate to be a judge. I'm glad being a spectator. What an exciting heat.

waggy
2 years ago

Slater got a lucky break in his semi against Jeremy. Whether Jeremy would have / could have won we'll never know (he was surfing incredibly well throughout the day), but the priority call against him in the semis was not justified imho. That, plus the fact that Kelly paddled in his way and completely wrecked one of Jeremy's waves at the beginning of the heat. Which brings the point of how much of ###### wins have to do with mind games and getting under his opponents' skin. A fitting tribute to MP, I suppose.
As far as the final goes, maybe Kelly should have gotten more than an 8.07, but I didn't think his wave was worth an 8.8, which he needed to win it. I thought Fanning's win was deserved. And what about ###### 10? Was that one-maneuver wave worth a 10 at a place like Bells? Any thoughts?

rmk
2 years ago

For the record I hope Taj wins the title this year precisely because I think he'd be a hoot to go on a surf trip with, while I think Kelly would steal all the waves and be late to everything. Pet peeve of mine.

And I agree that his 360 carve was not an 8.8. I guess that I just thought the 9.7 was inflated and that both Slater and Fanning should have been in the 8.5 to 9.0 range. Maybe Fanning was a 9.0 and Slater was an 8.5--I liked Slater's ride a bit better--but the disparity was crazy.

Waggy, I think your point is dead-on. The judges were wowed by the huge air - but then had buyer's remorse because Bells isn't about airs (although the Slater fans would say -- but did you see it, it was insane).

But hey -- this debate indicates that who won the heat overall was a close call.

RashGuard
2 years ago

###### air was insane. Insane.

zappalives
2 years ago

agreed with @ rashguard. that was one of the sickest airs i've ever seen when you look at how smoothly he landed it from almost 10' up.

however, if slater had gotten the 8.8 he needed and won the heat, we'd be having the same freakin debate about whether a single air should be worth 10 pts, and everyone would think mick was robbed!!

it's all up for interpretation. i'm happy to see mick win in front of his home team, and am sure this will just motivate kelly to stomp on the entire ASP for daring to question his supremacy.

Quadrafino
2 years ago

glad i watched that live as I usually don't watch the live webquests-But I figure Slater versus Fanning in a Bells final has to be good. I do think that Fanning was overscored on the 9.7-maybe if he pulled the last move it could deserve that score and that Slater was slightly underscore on his wave with the carving 360. Overall Fanning had better waves than Slater and that made the difference. Mick had three great set waves. Kelly had 10+ waves but only one good set wave it seemed. Slater's 10 was deserving especially since it was a mediocre wave that was closing out and he did something absolutely amazing that few others on the tour could do-to bad he couldn't make that barrel the very first wave of the heat!

JLW
2 years ago

Guys, there were two 8.07s that Slater got. One with the carving 360, with not much to back it up. but there was another 8.07 where he did some CRAZY fins-free hits and ended it with a reversal in the shorebreak. Fanning did three swoopy safety turns that weren't nearly as critical as Slater's 8.07 and then FELL on the inside reversal. How does Fanning get an extra 1.7 points for that? It's highway robbery.

falcon
2 years ago

Yeah, that was a tough one to call. That carving 360 slater did to get the 8.07 was extra special because of the fact that he kind of carved into the tube, which almost looked like a different move than is other carving 360's. That being said, it was really only the one move. I think he should of gotten a 8.5 and barely lost, but a tough one for the judges. I think the judges keep in mind where they are and what the wave is about which is big open face carves on set waves. I think Mick earned it.

nyckomondor
2 years ago

Kelly wins punt of the year hands down. That is the sickest, highest, fastest, twirly-bird-est, full rotation, no-hands air reverse in all of surfing contest history. Even better than the one he pulled on Taj in New York. To do it in a final to get out of a combo situation makes it even more insane. Congrats to Mick (with his double grab punt and power carves), but Kelly is in a league of his own.

surfermax
2 years ago

there aint no denying that Kelly is a much more talented surfer. Mick has some style, But Kelly was the winner. Did you see that huge 360

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