Surfing legend Kelly Slater clinched his record 11th world championship during today’s competition at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, event organizers said.
Slater, 39, only needed to win his first two heats in the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco contest, which started Tuesday, to clinch the Association of Surfing Professionals’ World Tour title.
After winning his first heat on Tuesday, Slater won his second heat this afternoon, defeating Australian surfer Dan Ross.
The win came exactly one year after the death of his friend and surfing rival Andy Irons, according to event organizers.
Slater’s win was the latest news from an already eventful two days of the surfing contest.
On Monday, 22-year-old surfer Dusty Payne exited the water during a first-round heat after saying he saw a shark in the waters off of Ocean Beach.
“I was sitting out there and saw something in the lineup,” Payne said in a statement. “I’ve seen dolphins before and that wasn’t a dolphin. That’s the biggest fin I’ve ever seen in my life and it came straight for me.”
The alleged shark sighting comes days after a 27-year-old man was bitten by a shark down the coast at Marina State Beach in Monterey County.
The man survived his injuries, which were lacerations to his hands, arms and neck.
The competition at Ocean Beach could continue on Thursday depending on the weather and surf conditions.
The event is being held on the northern end of the beach near stairways 18-20 and is being streamed online in a free webcast at www.live.ripcurl.com.
Image Credit: © ASP/ Kirstin
Photo grapher: Kirstin Scholtz
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News