That upset, along with 2001 Billabong Pro Tahiti Champion Cory Lopez's (USA) elimination of current equal Foster's ASP World Tour No. 1 Taj Burrow (AUS), headlined a full day of action which unfolded in clean, three-foot (one metre) waves at Teahupoo.
Flores, who earned his Foster's ASP World Tour berth after finishing first on the 2006 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), took the lead halfway through their 35-minute heat and held it until the horn blew.
"I'm happy, it's definitely a dream come true to beat the best surfer in the world," Flores said. "I feel really confident in these waves, where I'm from the waves are exactly the same so I know these waves perfect. If there was one place I could beat Kelly it was today, in these waves."
Slater failed to put a heat together, catching five waves to Flores' three and earning a heat total of just 10.87 – uncharacteristic given his ability to post perfect 10.00 rides on a regular basis.
"I've always surfed pretty well against Slater," Flores said. "He's always surfed better and beaten me, but I've always surfed well and felt good against him. I guess today I might have been a little smarter on my wave selection. I was patient and waited for the good ones and that might have been the difference."
Lopez and Burrow's Round 4 clash was the highest scoring heat of the Billabong Pro Tahiti thus far, with Lopez barely edging out the current world No. 1 17.66 to 17.50.
"Taj started off with a really good wave and I knew I had to do something special," Lopez said. "I didn't have priority, but I saw this wave swinging wide of him and I just paddled as hard as I could for position. I got a really nice little barrel, kind of over the foam ball for a little bit and just came out to make the tube and I got my score. I was so stoked because I knew I had made the heat."
Also eliminated in a close heat today was current world No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS). Durbidge lost to rookie Kai Otton in somewhat inconsistent surf the last heat of the day.
"It's really funny that me and Bede had a heat like that because on the Goldy, we had the same round and this big storm came through and we wanted to call it off - we couldn't even see each other," Otton said. "It's kind of ironic that we had another heat that went well over halfway through without either one of us taking off. We both got a couple – same scores on one wave and it was just up to the other wave that I got a little barrel on."
Mick Fanning (AUS) who came into the event sharing Burrow's World No. 1 rating is also through to the Quarterfinals. With Burrow, Durbidge and Slater out, Fanning stands to increase his ratings lead.
The surfer still competing in the Billabong Pro Tahiti nearest to Fanning on the ratings is current world No. 5 Joel Parkinson (AUS). Parkinson will meet former event and world champion Andy Irons (HAW) in the next round.
"I live to fight another day and now I meet Parko in the Quarterfinals," Irons said. "We are staying together so it should be pretty interesting. If the waves stay small it could be pretty heavy because we're actually using the same board and I don't who is going to get it but I may have to hide it. It's actually JS's board, our shaper's, who made it for himself from a copy of one of my boards that Parko got here. I don't know what the rules are on that, we may have to check the rule book on that one. Hopefully it gets bigger and then we won't have to deal with that and we can deal with real 12-foot Teahupoo instead."
Just seven heats of Billabong Pro Tahiti competition remain. A call on event proceedings will be made tomorrow morning at 7:00 local time. All the Billabong Pro Tahiti action will be webcast LIVE on www.aspworldtour.com and www.billabongpro.com.
Visit the media center on www.aspworldtour.com for transcribed athlete interviews, audio downloads, hi-resolution photographs and heat by heat updates.
Billabong Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. Michael Campbell (AUS) 11.24
Heat 2: Andy Irons (HAW) 14.44 def. Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 13.93
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.00
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.57 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.87
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.87 def. Chris Ward (USA) 3.83
Heat 6: Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.40 def. Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 6.17
Heat 7: Cory Lopez (USA) 17.66 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.50
Heat 8: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.77 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.27
Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Results - Heats 8-16:
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.17 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 9.50
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.43 def. Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.77
Heat 10: Chris Ward (USA) 15.40 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.30
Heat 11: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 16.33 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4.83
Heat 12: Luke Stedman (AUS) 16.66 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.27
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.20 def. Victor Ribas (BRA) 9.57
Heat 14: Cory Lopez (USA) 16.53 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 1.84
Heat 15: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.93 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (AUS) 14.94
Heat 16: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.96 def. Daniel Wills (AUS) 15.17