*This title has been changed after a press release from the ASP.
Due to a calculation error, the ASP prematurely awarded Kelly Slater his 11th title. They have since apologized and offered the following explanation:
OCEAN BEACH, San Francisco/California (Friday, November 4, 2011) – The ASP has admitted that, due to a calculation error within its rankings’ system, the 2011 ASP World Title has yet to be officially decided and that Kelly Slater (USA), 39, was prematurely awarded his 11th ASP World Title on Tuesday.
“Our rankings’ system is designed to split tie-breaks based off of seed points,” Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, said. “Kelly (Slater) and Owen (Wright) tied at best nine of 11 results, so we went to best eight of 11 results and the system gave it to Kelly based off his higher seed position. We were operating under that assumption and created the ASP World Title scenarios based off of that. This was a mistake. In the end, we’re responsible for this and should be held accountable. We apologize to our fans, the surfers and to Owen and Kelly.”
Moving forward, Slater must win one more heat, either at the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco or at the following event at Pipeline in Hawaii to confirm his 2011 ASP World Title. For Wright to remain in the hunt, he must win both the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco and the following event at Pipeline in Hawaii.
REVISED 2011 ASP WORLD TITLE SCENARIOS:
- If Kelly wins either Round 4 or 5 (one more heat win) in San Francisco, he will confirm his 2011 ASP World Title.
- If Kelly fails to win another heat in San Francisco, Owen must win this event to send the 2011 ASP World Title race to Hawaii.
- If the race goes to Hawaii, Kelly must advance out of one heat to confirm his 2011 ASP World Title. If Kelly fails to advance through a heat at Pipeline, Owen must also win this event to stay in the 2011 ASP World Title Race.
- If Kelly fails to advance out of another heat this season, and Owen wins in San Francisco and Pipeline, the two will tie at best of nine, eight, seven, etc. events, and the 2011 ASP World Title will be decided in a “Surf Off”.
Old Post Below:
After becoming the first man to win 11 ASP World Titles in the waters of San Francisco's Ocean Beach yesterday, 39-year-old Kelly Slater is already looking forward to his next decade of surfing.
“Part of it is people always talk about my age and you know I’m 39, almost 40, and to me that’s literally just a number. You can prove people wrong and stay super healthy," says Slater. "I don’t see why at 50 I can’t be in better shape than I am now. If anything I’d like to try to represent that to people. I eat well and I talk about it and I walk the walk and it shows in my ability physically.”
Slater won his first title in 1992 and won his last title before this one in 2010. Slater's latest title came a year to the day after the death of friend and competitor Andy Irons.
"I started thinking about Andy a couple days ago," Slater told ESPN. "And today, it's like he's watching over us. We had a little memorial for him today, and now the waves, the weather, it just feels like he was watching over use. Emotionally it's still a very hard thing to reconcile with."
For more on Slater's two decades in surfing, read the following articles.
When a Man Loves a Rival, The New York Times
Ready for the Next Wave, Sports Illustrated
Make a Comeback, Outside