Surfing legend Kelly Slater won his record 11th Association of Surfing Professionals World Title today for the second and final time.
The association had awarded the world title to Slater, 39, on Wednesday when he won his second heat of the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco, which started at Ocean Beach on Tuesday.
However, on Friday the group retracted the title after saying it had miscalculated, and that Slater was actually tied with surfer Owen Wright. Slater needed to win one more heat, either at the San Francisco competition or at the next event in Hawaii.
Today, Slater got his win, defeating Brazilians Miguel Pupo, 19, and Gabriel Medina, 17, in his non-elimination Round 4 heat to advance directly to the quarterfinals.
Officials said it was actually Slater who brought the initial error to their attention.
“This was a mistake. In the end, we’re responsible for this and should be held accountable,” ASP World Tour manager Renato Hickel said. “We apologize to our fans, the surfers and to Owen and Kelly.”
Slater is the first surfer in ASP history to win 11 World Titles.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News