Slaters boards stolen on eve of pipeline showdown.

Thieves have broken into Kelly Slater’s rented home on the North Shore this week, stealing a fair chunk of his Pipeline quiver. The theft occurred before the second day of competition and didn’t affect Slater’s progress through to the quarterfinals of the world title deciding Billabong Pipe Masters, however he was pretty upset that his treasured Channel Islands Pipe specials had been nicked.

Various North Shore underground locals are now attempting to track down both the thief and the boards. It must be considered one of the most lucrative hoists in surfing, although like stolen artworks, it would be fairly difficult to unload the stolen boards. You can’t exactly put a sign up on the Kam Highway or rock up to the local surfboard store and flog six of Kelly Slater’s signature 5’10″ quads.

In any case, Slater’s performance in Rounds 3 and 4 mean that it can’t have affected him too much with the final day all set for tomorrow. I am writing this now on the North Shore at 6pm on Friday and in the last three the surf has been doubling in size on the hour, going from 2 feet to a solid 12 feet on dark.

The forecast sees that swell going nowhere with a solid 10-15 feet west swell backed with light offshores. “It’s all set for Kelly Slater, its like the script is been written for him,” Taylor Knox told Surf Europe. “I’m still backing Mick as a very close personal friend, but I know that it all set up for Kelly Slater to pull a magic rabbit out of the hat. At times during the year I have questioned how focused he has been, but not now, he really wants this, you can tell.”

“It is a dream set up, this could be one of the all time world title deciding days,” said photojournalist Steve Sherman, who has been following and filming both surfers at close quarters. “Mick is Mick, he is steady, focused, super controlled and will just do his thing. But Kelly, I mean this is what he is made for.”

Fanning has two make two heats to win the world title. If he fails to that, he needs Kelly to lose just one. That’s the basic maths, but like the swell,  the excitement and the anticipation is rising steadily. This time tomorrow we will have a new world champion.