Kai Otton Wins Rip Curl Pro Portugal
The title race goes to Pipe, with only Kelly and Mick in contention.
In an unlikely turn of events (i.e. wave starved heats), tour veteran Kai Otton claimed his maiden CT event in Portugal today defeating rookie of the year Nat Young.
Kai Otts has won the Rip Curl Pro Portugal over rookie Nat Young in what was another wave-starved 30-minute affair.
After not only sending the world title race to Hawaii by defeating good friend Mick Fanning in their quarter final bout, Kai Otton also went on to eliminate Parko in the semis (with an equal third in Portugal the defending champ is officially out of the race ) before besting newly crowned rookie of the year Nat Young in the final.
“It’s the weirdest feeling ever, I just can’t comprehend it," an ecstatic Otton said. “I really want to dedicate it to my Granddad, he passed away the year I qualified and never saw me on tour so this is for him. It seems like this event was a little bit of a grind, every heat the tide changed so dramatically you never really knew what was going to happen!"
Following Fanning’s fifth place finish at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Kelly must now win the Pipe Masters if he's to stand any chance of regaining the rankings lead. If Slater does win the event, Fanning must place 3rd or better to claim the title.
“It’s a bit frustrating, obviously I just wanted to surf and unfortunately it didn’t really happen," Fanning said following his defeat. “I’m stoked that I made some points here, it puts me in a better position going into Pipe and I’m excited to go to Hawaii. I’ll do the whole triple crown so this could be fun! I’ve had a lot of slow heats this year, snuck through a few, but you know every now and then one’s going to go your way. It probably made it a little bit more significant with what was on the line at that time."
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Kai Otton (AUS) 12.23
2 – Nat Young (USA) 11.03
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.83 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.23
SF 2: Nat Young (USA) 14.07 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.66
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.07 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.90
QF 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 10.00 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.43
QF 3: Nat Young (USA) 15.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.54
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.67 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 8.56
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.10
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.16
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.33 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.90
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.40 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.53
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.50, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.50, Kai Otton (AUS) 9.90
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.00, John John Florence (HAW) 11.70, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.74
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 14.67, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.60, Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.46
Heat 4: C.J Hobgood (USA) 15.33, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.30, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.17