With two minutes to go, Kelly ripped this wave across the bank netting him the score. Clutch surfing from your 11x time world champ. Photo: Lawrence
Dan Ross kinda had Kelly on the ropes, white wetsuit and all. But unless you’re very new to surfing, or an Australian, your money was always on Kelly. Sure, we would have loved for him to clinch his 11th in more dramatic fashion, and with surfing that differed from the surfing that won him his first one, but we can’t always have the drama like there was in New York, when he threw his Hail Mary against Taj. Or watch him toy with Teahupo’o barrels like he did against Owen. Sometimes it comes down to doing what you need to do to win the heat. To win the contest. To win the World Title.
It’s what Kelly’s always done, and in that regard, it was an appropriate way to win his 11th, and perhaps his final World Title.
Yes, we’ve heard it before. “Retiring” for Kelly lasts till he wins Snapper. He’s the Brett Favre of surfing. He has that can’t stop won’t stop never get enough personality that carried him to where he is now. But according to many that are close to Kelly, he’ll be MIA next year but for Quik events and Pipe.
And if he’s really gone, like gone-forever gone, then we’ll tip our hats to a man who gracefully bowed out on top. But if he returns, well, look for a similar post this time next year.