HUNTINGTON BEACH — Close friends Rob Machado and Kelly Slater put their friendship aside in the finals of the U.S. Open of Surfing Sunday before an estimated 49,000 at Huntington Beach.
But instead of an intense contest, it turned out to be a final of Machado's great rides and Slater's mistakes as Machado won the title and $14,000 in prize money.
Slater, after suffering a rare fall on his fourth wave and breaking his board without having a backup, had difficulty catching waves afterward as Machado promptly recorded scores of 9.50 and 7.43 en route to victory.
"It was so cool," said Machado, ranked sixth on the World Tour. "Yeah, I'm stoked."