In a Cinderella story for the ages, 21-year-old Australian Owen Wright bested 10-time World Champ Kelly Slater to take his first ASP World Tour event win, along with $300,000 -- the biggest first-place prize in Tour history -- at the Quiksilver Pro New York.
In only his second year on Tour, the 6-foot-3 Wright powered through the clean beach break with some of the highest heat scores of the event, taking down CJ Hobgood, Joel Parkinson, Julian Wilson and finally Slater Friday at Long Beach.
Slater and Wright surfed against each other in a final for the first time in August at Tahiti's Teahupoo, where Slater emerged the winner.
"I"m just laughing. I've always wanted to be in Final with Kelly and last week at Teahupo'o was great. I think Kelly is ready for payback already. How good is this? Look at these waves!" Wright said, following his win in epic conditions at Long Beach.
A stormy event earlier in the week, the sun came out for Friday's final and the wind blew offshore. Hurricane Katia delivered clean, four-foot barrels, temps were in the low 80s and the beach was packed to capacity with enthusiastic New Yorkers.
The Quiksilver Pro is the first Dream Tour event ever held on the East Coast of the United States. With a $1 million prize purse, it's also the biggest pay out in Tour history. The World's Top 34 head next to Trestles, Calif. for the seventh stop of the Tour at the Hurley Pro, Sept. 18-24.
Slater and Wright are positioned first and second, respectively, in the World Title Rankings. They are separated by 3,050 points.