Kelly Slater triumphed at the Rip Curl Pro Surf in San Francisco which finished on 2nd November, and surfed himself to yet another championship. However, it’s not just ‘another’ title – it’s his 11th World title – an achievement not even his closest rival has come near too. The next best men’s surfer to date is Mark Richards with 4 world titles…
… and, for the record, the most titles won by a woman surfer is 7, and the surfer is Layne Beachley. Not bad, not bad at all.
39 years old and still at the top of his career – the Kelly Slater a legend. And age is certainly something he’s not going to trouble himself about: “People always talk about my age. I’m 39 going on 40 in a few months and, to me, that’s literally just a number.”
Round One of the competition was a difficult day with closeouts and strong currents, but this was followed with perfect conditions on the second day.
He defeated Australian Dan Ross in a thrilling round three heat of the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco to win his unprecedented 11th ASP World Title. In pristine three-to-five ft (1 – 1.5 m) peaks at Ocean Beach. Slater fought back to an inspired start from opponent Ross, 28, to claim victory in the dying moments in front of a capacity crowd at Ocean Beach.
“This is pretty fabulous,” said Slater. “Two days ago in the afternoon it was chunky and small and didn’t look inviting at all. Yesterday was nice and today looks like a nice day in France. I don’t know, this hasn’t sunk in. I’ve been pretty stressed about it and I’m glad it’s over. It’s very fulfilling and there’s personal satisfaction. It feels real nice. I’ve dedicated my life to surfing and competing and to go a whole year and win a world title and have it pay off, it’s really fulfilling. To win on American soil is nice. Everyone’s been so cool and the locals have been so stoked. It’s been a special time. It’s been warm and offshore and a nice little swell. Someone’s looking over us, probably Andy (Irons)” – a tribute to the much loved surfer and defining force in Slater’s career. He was once a bitter rival of Slater’s (claiming three consecutive ASP World Titles himself) but became a close friend and confidant in recent years. He passed away a year ago to the day.
Slater won his first World Title at the record breaking age of 20 and has extended the legend by becoming the oldest ever to win a World Title.
Our congratulations to you Mr. Slater!
photo courtesy of http://mpora.com