Kelly Slater knocked out of Sydney Surf Pro

Legendary surfer Kelly Slater has crashed out of the Sydney Surf Pro, finishing last in his heat on Thursday and being eliminated from the competition.

After winning his heat on Wednesday, 47-year-old Slater faced off against quality opposition in Brazilian duo Jesse Mendes and Alex Ribeiro.

No joy: Kelly Slater has crashed out of the Sydney Surf Pro in his second heat. Credit:Janie Barrett

World Surf League spokesman Tom Bennett said the 11-time world champion was the victim of a tough draw, gentle swell and a low-tide during his heat.

"With these small conditions, it’s anyone’s game," Bennett said.

"It takes a lot of skill to surf the waves this small, also a fair bit of luck being in the right spot. The guys competing in the qualifying series full-time, they’re really accustomed to surfing waves like this."

Mendes won the heat with a score of 14.67 while Slater could only manage 6.53.

"He just had one of those heats. He wasn’t really in a rhythm which happens to the best of them. That’s not to take anything away from Alex and Jesse who beat him," Bennett said.

Surf website Coastalwatch rated Thursday’s conditions just two stars, describing the 1-2 foot waves as "bumpy" and "deteriorating".

Bennett said the Manly conditions acted to level the playing field between elite and amateur surfers.

"If [Slater] saw waves like this when he rocked up at the beach, he wouldn't bother," Bennett said.

"He would’ve spent a lot more time chasing big, perfect waves."

Apart from his record 11 world titles, Slater is famous for building his own man-made wave, Surf Ranch, in California.

Slater was using the Manly event as a warm-up as he prepares to launch his bid for Olympic qualification to surf for his country in Tokyo in 2020.

Despite the early-season blip, Slater will hang around Manly for the remainder of the event before heading to the Gold Coast to prepare for the first championship tour event at Snapper Rocks.

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