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Perfect Slater wins Taihiti surf title

AAP logoAAP 23/08/2016

Kelly Slater has defied his 44 years to post only the ninth perfect 20-points score in 40 years of world surfing championship history en route to winning the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.

Eleven-times world champion Slater revelled in improved 2.5-3 metre surf on the famed Teahupoo break, posting two perfect rides of 10 points in the fifth round.

On the back of that master class, the American stormed through to the final where he beat new world championship leader John John Florence of Hawaii with a near-perfect 19.67 score to 15.23, posting rides of 9.90 and 9.77.

"I am going to look back and think for sure that was one of the best events I've ever had," said an emotional Slater after securing his fifth Tahiti title.

"It's a real special time for me. I am stoked."

The win sets Slater up for a late season crack at a 12th world title, lifting him to eighth on 24,450 points with four events remaining.

However he has a lot of work to do to haul in Florence, who overtook Australia's Matt Wilkinson and now leads on 39,000 with Wilkinson second on 36,000 and Brazil's Gabriel Medina third on 35,700.

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