MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal

Kelly Will Compete in Portugal

Kelly Slater is on his way to Peniche to compete at the MEO Rip Curl Pro. He boarded a flight from Bordeaux to Lisbon on Monday afternoon.

Defending champion Kelly Slater (USA) kept busy during his Round 3 heat with Dan Ross (AUS) taking the lead early and holding on to it.   ASP/Cestari Slater's track record in Portugal gets better with good waves, which bodes well for him given the current forecast. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

After a disappointing Round Two loss to wildcard Leonardo Fioravanti at the Quiksilver Pro France, Slater said he felt distracted. He hadn't been sleeping well and was considering skipping the next event to let his body recover.

But after two weeks of hanging out in Hossegor he is apparently feeling recharged. Slater's been surfing a few out of the way spots, playing golf with his buddy Fioravanti, and dining at his favorite seafood restaurants along the coast.

Kelly Slater's board didn't fare well in Round 3... nor afterwards. Peniche fans are passionate about Kelly. - WSL / Damien Poullenot/ Aquashot

On Sunday he capped the week off with a memorable sunset session at 6-8 foot La Graviere. "It was like Pipe!" He said. "Some crazy scary ones out there!"

His poor result in France virtually takes him out of title contention, and Slater's record in Portugal hasn't been great of late. He took 13th in 2015 and 2014, and 25th in 2013. He did, however, win the event in 2010 and was 2nd in 2011. Both of those contests featured epic conditions. And who can forget the incredible 540 air he did during a freesurf in Portugal two years ago.

Kelly Slater (USA) advances with ease into round three.  ASP/ Kirstin If this one turns into another tube-fest it's best not to count Kelly out. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

With the forecast offering Slater friendly clean and hollow waves during the early rounds of competition, look for a bounce back in Peniche from the 11x world champion.