Kelly Slater wins 11th world title ... again
Kelly Slater has been crowned the 2011 ASP World Champion ... again.
On Sunday, surfing under cloudy San Francisco skies, in an unruly five-foot Ocean Beach lineup, Slater advanced out of round four, moving into the quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Search. The heat win over young Brazilians Gabriel Medina, 17, and Miguel Pupo, 19, gave Slater, 39, enough ratings points to clinch the title.
"I'm stoked. I was upset about it at first, but I also thought it was really funny," said Slater after officially winning about the miscalculation. "No hard feelings with ASP. Mistakes do happen. We all make mistakes. It's just the way it happens."
Initially anointed the 2011 world champ on Nov. 2, two days later the ASP, the governing body of the sport, was forced to reevaluate its math and soon came to realize that there was an error in their computations and that Slater still had to win one more heat to secure the title. Ironically, it was Slater who brought the mistake to the attention of ASP World Tour director Renato Hickle.
"I'm going against two kids that could literally be my kids, and those kids throw gnarly turns. I was actually hoping it would be offshore and barreling instead of onshore," said Slater, who was good-natured and smiling after coming out of the water. "I texted my mom and said it was funny that I didn't really have any emotion about it when I won, so maybe deep down I knew. But this is my profession, so it's a little on me to know the situation."
Slater admits to constantly "having numbers floating around in his heat," and when he initially clinched the 2011 title last week he pointed out that he won his eleventh title in 2011 on 11/2 and was born on 2/11. He even noted the mystical connection in his victory speech that was broadcast live to the world on the contest's webcast.
"Maybe it was Andy [Irons] messing with me, so maybe there's something cosmic going on," Slater said with a smile.