First it was Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France, then it was Valentino Rossi in the MotoGPnow "Club 7's" newest member is American surfer Kelly Slater, who was crowned seven-times' Foster's ASP World Champion at Brazil's Novan Schin Festival on November 9, 2005. (Read Outside Online's news coverage here.)
Slater's winning season started with the BBG Tahiti event, held at Teahupoo in May 2005. He also went down in the history books as the first surfer to score perfect points (20 out of 20) in a world-championship final. Slater sealed victory with two tens halfway through the 30-minute final against fellow American Damien Hobgood.
At South Africa's Jeffrey's Bay event in July '05, Slater bested rival Andy Irons to etch a slim lead in the overall tour rankings. "I don't think I've ever had my back to the wall like that in a final," said Slater. "To get one up against Andy is a real feat, he's just been on it for so many years now and we've had a number of heats but I don't think I've beaten him yet. It's a little bit of redemption to get back at him!"
September's Boost Mobile Pro event was the only mainland U.S. stop on the Foster's Men's World Tour, held at Lower Trestles in Southern California. When all was said and done, it was Kelly Slater who could point to the sky with a victory salute (his fourth of the 2005 season) and a step closer to his dream of clinching seven world titles.
Despite Kelly Slater's keen focus before his heat at the pivotal Novan Schin Festival, he admitted to struggling to find his feet. "I think it was a culmination of a few things, jet lag, climate change, sitting around doing nothing..."
"I don't expect Andy to lose today so I certainly can't afford to let my guard down. I want to win this event regardless of whether Andy gets knocked out today or tomorrow. I just have to focus on that," said Kelly Slater after his round three victory in Brazil.
The crowd goes wild for Slater as he celebrates clinching the 2005 surf crown, his record-breaking seventh. The event venue of the Ilha de Santa Catarina, aka Florianópolis, is known throughout Brazil for its gorgeous beaches, excellent seafood, and traditional Azorean fishing villages. And killer surf.
Kelly Slater toasts his record-setting seventh Foster's Men's ASP World Tour title at the Nova Schin Festival, held in Florianópolis, Brazil.