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Category: Pro surfing

Kelly Slater wins ASP Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

Reigning and 10-time ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater on his way to victory at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

Reigning and 10-time Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour champion Kelly Slater has started the 2011 season off victorious, winning the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Australia's Snapper Rocks by defeating defending event champion Taj Burrow.

Slater sprung to life on the final day of competition, posting his top results en route to the final against Burrow. Slater slowly built upon his scores in his bout against the Australian and his refined strategy proved to be enough for the Floridian to win.

"I’m having a lot of fun," Slater, 39, said. "It’s pretty easy. You go out and surf Snapper by yourself, it's pretty fun. To get to surf a contest is a bonus."

Burrow, 32, fell just short of the score needed to surpass Slater for the victory in the back-half of their duel.

"I’m excited about the tour for 2011," Burrow said. "It was a fun event and it’s just a bummer the waves didn’t hang in there at the end. I couldn’t better a 3. Hats off to Kelly, he built a house and it worked."

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Quarterfinalists set at ASP Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast

Kelly Slater is into the quarterfinals of the ASP World Tour Quiksilver Pro.

The Quiksilver Pro, the opening stop of the 2011 Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour season, completed Rounds 4 and 5 Tuesday with the most electrifying surfing of the event in clean 2- to 3-foot waves at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks on Australia's Gold Coast.

Defending event champion Taj Burrow, of Australia, continued to prove he is the man to beat at Snapper Rocks, posting the highest heat total of the event, a 19.06 out of a possible 20, to dispatch 24-year-old Brazilian Adriano de Souza in a blow-for-blow Round 5.

"I just wanted to get back in that heat," Burrow, 32, said. "Adriano raised it by getting that 9 at the start and it made me hungry. It’s awesome when you dig deep and it goes your way at the end. I surfed my guts out and know judges like when you’re committed, and I’m just glad they rewarded it."

Reigning and 10-time ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater, although relegated to the elimination Round 5, recovered well to take down an in-form Adrian Buchan, 28, of Australia, to advance to the quarterfinals.

"I feel a little better," Slater, 39, said. "I just felt a little weak and off of my game today. I didn’t sleep great and ate late last night. I didn’t get enough sleep and felt a little shaky and off tune. I went home and rested and tried to hit the reset button before the second heat. I don’t feel like I’ve kicked it into high gear just yet, so it’s nice to make a heat feeling like you didn’t have it all in the tank."

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Hawaii's Carissa Moore wins ASP Women's World Tour Roxy Pro Gold Coast

Not only did Carissa Moore claim the Roxy Pro Gold Coast but also the ASP Women's World Tour No. 1 position.

Hawaii's Carissa Moore, 18, has won the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, the opening event of the 2011 Assn. of Surfing Professionals Women's World Tour season, beating Australia's Tyler Wright, 16, in an electric final at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks on Australia's Gold Coast.

Moore proved the form surfer of the event, consistently notching the highest scores in each round and surfing with unparalleled speed, power and progression.

"It’s been an amazing finish to the event and the waves were so good for us today," Moore said. "If I didn’t have priority and hadn’t dropped in on Tyler on that wave, then she probably would have gotten the score and won the heat. It’s been an incredible event for me and I’m excited for the year ahead."

Reigning four-time ASP women’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore, 23, who has consistently held the ASP No. 1 position since August 2008, finished an equal fifth in the tour standings after losing in the quarterfinals to fellow Australian Laura Enever.

"Laura and I went out with different game plans for that heat and hers obviously paid off," Gilmore said. "It’s disappointing, for sure, but she was surfing really well and things worked out for her. For me, this event was about trying to find my feet and I think I did a little bit. Hopefully I can recover a bit more between now and the next event."

The next stop on the ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, April 19-25, in Victoria, Australia.

Roxy Pro Gold Coast final results:
1-Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.34
2-Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.37

Semifinals:
Semifinal 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.53 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 11.84
Semifinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.00 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.50

Quarterfinals:
Quarterfinal 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.77 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.44
Quarterfinal 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 15.67 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.50
Quarterfinal 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 19.20 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 14.50
Quarterfinal 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 18.37 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.83

ASP Women's World Tour Top 5 (updated)
1. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10,000 points
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 8,000 points
3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 5,200 points
3. Laura Enever (AUS) 6,500 points
5. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 5,200 points
5. Silvana Lima (BRA) 5,200 points
5. Coco Ho (HAW) 5,200 points
5. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 5,200 points

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Not only did Carissa Moore claim the Roxy Pro Gold Coast title, but also the ASP Women's World Tour No. 1 position.  Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / ASP

Surfing champ Kelly Slater ready for 2011 ASP World Tour, at least for now

Ten-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater.

The 2011 Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour kicks off this week with the Quiksilver Pro, scheduled to begin Saturday on Australia's Gold Coast.

Returning to the lineup of top tour surfers is Kelly Slater, possibly vying for an 11th ASP World Tour title. The Floridian, however, remains mum on his plans for this season, or if he's considering retirement now that he's got a 10th crown under his belt.

"I'd love to get another win at the Quiksilver Pro," the iconic natural-footer said. "Either a great way to go out or to start another campaign! I can't honestly answer that [my plans for the year] right now. I've thought about doing a farewell aloha tour and saying 'bye to the tour and I've thought about retiring after this event for real."

Slater, 39, used the off-season to recharge in Hawaii and California, working on equipment and taking advantage of the winter swells.

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Kelly Slater named one of GQ's 25 'Coolest Athletes of All Time'

Kelly Slater appears on a cover of the Feb. issue of GQ GQ magazine has graced one of its February covers with Kelly Slater, including the iconic surfer on its list of the 25 "Coolest Athletes of All Time."

The issue, available nationwide on newsstands now, features nine separate covers of athletes past and present.

"The athletes featured on GQ's '25 Coolest' list were chosen by the editors of the magazine, and were included based on the fact that they excelled in their sport and showed individuality in the way they played, exemplified cool, and had a unique sense of style/appearance -- which are reflected in the photos featured on the nine separate covers," a GQ spokeswoman told Outposts.

GQ contributor William Finnegan wrote the following of Slater:

In 1992, Kelly Slater became the youngest world champion in the admittedly brief history of pro surfing. In 2010, while winning his tenth world title at 38, he became the oldest.

In a sport where hot kids constantly push the aerial envelope into outlandish new realms, Slater has never stopped innovating. He almost seems to get younger, looser, more original with the years.

The 10-time Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour champion joins a list of top athletes from across the sports spectrum, including Michael Jordan, Arnold Palmer, Pelé, Björn Borg and Joe Namath.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: The February GQ cover featuring Kelly Slater. Credit: GQ

Big-wave surfer Mark Visser takes on Maui's 'Jaws' at night

 

Professional big-wave surfer Mark Visser made history early Thursday when he took on 30- to 40-foot waves at Jaws, off the shore of Maui. That's because the 28-year-old Australian went out surfing in the dark. Using specially engineered LED lighting built into a buoyancy vest and on the surfboard, Visser became the first to night surf the infamous break.

"It wasn't until I saw the pictures I realized how big it was," Visser said. "I had to go off feeling. It was the scariest but most exciting thing I have ever done."

With the guidance of a helicopter team overhead, which had a spotlight, Visser was towed in by Jet ski to take on the waves. The project, two years in the making, utilized lighting technology especially created to ensure the wave and board were lighted without hindering the vision of Visser, the Jet Ski drivers and the helicopter pilots.

"I am so pumped to achieve something that no one thought possible and that I was told couldn't be done," Visser said.

The action -- including glow-in-the-dark wipe-outs -- was caught on video, which already has more than 550,000 views since its posting Thursday on GrindTV.com.

This feat, called "The Night Rider," is the first of a series of extreme adventures for Visser, which will be compiled into a documentary titled "9 Lives," scheduled to be distributed in late 2011 or early 2012.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

 Video: Chris Mauro via GrindTV.com

Kelly Slater receives a Guinness World Record

Ten-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater. Surfing legend Kelly Slater has another award he can put on his mantel.

Slater, who made sporting history Nov. 6 when he claimed an unprecedented 10th Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour title, has been awarded a Guinness World Record for "The most career wins of the male Assn. of Surfing Professionals world title."

Quiksilver posted an image of Slater's Guinness certificate on its surf blog.

This is the 38-year-old's second Guiness World Record -- he also received one in 2005 for being the first person in surfing to score two perfect-10 rides, under the ASP two-wave scoring system, during the final of the Billabong Tahiti Pro.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Ten-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater

Credit: © Kirstin Scholtz / Assn. of Surfing Professionals

Outposts looks back at 2010: Passings

With the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons, 32

Andy Irons Legendary surfer Andy Irons died at the age of 32. The three-time world champion passed away during a layover in Dallas en route from Puerto Rico to his home in Hawaii. His body was discovered in a hotel room Nov. 2, after he failed to respond to a wake-up call.

Irons, who was raised on Kauai, became ill during an ASP World Tour event in Puerto Rico. He was apparently suffering from symptoms similar to those associated with dengue fever.

Photo credit: ASP


Capt. Phil Harris, 53, of 'Deadliest Catch'

Capt. Phil Harris Phil Harris, the hard-talking captain of one of the crab-fishing vessels featured on the Discovery Channel series "Deadliest Catch" died Feb. 9 after suffering a stroke Jan. 29 while in port offloading his boat, the 128-foot Cornelia Marie. Harris was 53.

Harris captained the Cornelia Marie for 18 years and had two sons, Josh and Jake, who worked as deckhands on the vessel.

Photo: Discovery Channel

 

Extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson, 35, falls to his death scaling K2

Fredrik Ericsson Fredrik Ericsson, one of the world's leading high-altitude skiers, fell to his death Aug. 6 while attempting to scale and then ski from the 28,251-foot summit of K2. Ericsson was 35.

Featured in a June Outposts item, the extreme skier was on a quest to ski down the three highest peaks on the planet -- K2, on the border between China and Pakistan; the Himalayan peak of Kangchenjunga; and Mt. Everest, on the border of Nepal and Tibet.

Photo: FredrikEricsson.com

 

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Outposts looks back at 2010: Achievements

With the the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Kelly Slater clinches historic 10th ASP World Tour title

Kelly Slater clinched his 10th ASP World Tour title on Nov. 6. Kelly Slater made sporting history on Nov. 6, claiming an unprecedented 10th Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour title.

Culminating a 20-year effort, Slater, 38, accomplished an incredible feat that will undoubtedly remain at the top of the ASP record book for a long time.

"I feel relieved, honestly," Slater said. "It’s been the most stressful title I’ve ever had, because it’s sort of an unknown place and you know at my age people say, 'You shouldn’t be doing this.'"

Photo credit: Kirstin Scholtz / ASP


Lance Mackey wins fourth consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Lance Mackey holds two of his dogs, Rev and Maple,after winning his fourth consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race. With 11 dogs in harness, musher Lance Mackey rode into Nome, Alaska, at 2:59 p.m. March 16, passing under the burled arch and the Widow's Lamp hanging from it to win the 38th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The 39-year-old Mackey, from Fairbanks, Alaska, also rode into the record books, becoming the first to win the "last great race on Earth"  four times in a row.

Photo credit: Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News

 

Irvine woman with rare disease conquers Mt. Everest

Cindy Abbott displays her National Organization for Rare Disorders banner at Camp 4 before leaving for the summit of Mt. Everest. Cindy Abbott lives with adversity. The Irvine resident started losing vision in her left eye more than 15 years ago, and began having a slew of mini-strokes and vertigo. Finally, in 2007, Abbott was diagnosed with Wegener's Granulomatosis, a rare and potentially deadly disease of uncertain cause.

Abbott, 51, has no idea how long she has left to live because of the incurable disease. But she did not let the debilitating affliction hold her back, and on May 23, became the first person with Wegener's Granulomatosis to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

Photo credit: Bill Allen

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Kelly Slater: Evolution of a 10-time champion

 

When Kelly Slater won his 10th ASP World Tour championship Saturday, the surfer accomplished an incredible feat that will undoubtedly remain at the top of the Assn. of Surfing Professionals record book for a long, long time.

As two Outposts commenters opined, the powerful natural-footer is "one of the greatest athletic competitors of all time" and "definitely in the discussion of most dominant athlete of all time."

To showcase this amazing athlete, Quiksilver released the above video with a different spin.

"Evolution" tells Slater’s life story in reverse, starting with his recent win and ending with the surfer as a fresh-faced youth, with only his hopes, dreams and love of the sport under his belt.

"With a professional surfing career that spans 20 years and 10 world championships, Kelly is one of sport’s greatest athletes. We wanted to create a story around the fact that he’s the youngest and oldest world champion," said director Michael Sharp, from Santa Monica-based advertising and design agency Standard Time.

"By telling this story in reverse, we were able to pull moments from Kelly’s life to help humanize such an iconic figure. Kelly didn’t set out to win 10 world titles. He had no idea where his career would take him. He was just doing what he loved," added Sharp.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video credit: Quiksilver via YouTube

Kelly Slater clinches historic 10th ASP World Tour title

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Kelly Slater made sporting history Saturday, claiming an unprecedented 10th ASP World Tour title at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico.

"I feel relieved, honestly," Slater said. "It’s been the most stressful title I’ve ever had, because it’s sort of an unknown place and you know at my age people say 'you shouldn’t be doing this.'"

With his victory over Brazil's Adriano de Souza in the quarterfinals, the 38-year-old Floridian amassed enough points to move out of reach of remaining contender Jordy Smith, of South Africa, and collect the 2010 ASP World championship title, culminating a 20-year effort.

"I don’t know, it just happened," Slater said. "If you look at the heat, Adriano passed one up and let me have it and that was a good wave and that was pretty much it a few minutes into the heat. I just want to send my condolences to Irons family. It’s been a week of extremes for me. If it wasn’t for Andy [Irons] there is no way I’d be here in this position right now. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I want to dedicate this to Andy and to my family."

The 32-year-old Irons, a three-time ASP World champion, died unexpectedly Tuesday en route back home to Kauai, Hawaii, from the Rip Curl Pro Search. His death reportedly was connected to a bout of dengue fever he had contracted.

"I had the third at Teahupoo and Jordy got the 17th, at the time I really wanted to win that event and pull into the lead, but having Andy win that contest was really special," Slater said.

Slater, who spent a large portion of his youth in Puerto Rico, had family and friends on hand to witness the incredible feat as well as the support of the tens of thousands in attendance on the beach.

"It’s nice to win this in Puerto Rico with my friends and family here," Slater said. "I haven’t been surfing here on this part of the island since '88 and I used to come here a lot. This was like a second home to me and I have a lot of good friends from here. It’s the closest event ever to my home, so it feels like home."

-- Kelly Burgess
Twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Kelly Slater clinched a 10th ASP World title Saturday at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico. Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / ASP

Jordy Smith still in running for ASP World Tour title at Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico

Jordy Smith was a dominant performer in Rounds 3 and 4 at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico Friday and is the only man standing between Kelly Slater and ASP World Title No. 10.

Jordy Smith is a man still standing. The South African is the only competitor keeping Floridian Kelly Slater from winning his 10th ASP World Tour championship.

Smith, currently ranked ASP World No. 2, halted any title celebrations Friday at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico with a comprehensive assault on 3- to 4-foot waves at the primary site in Porta Del Sol, winning his Round 3 and 4 heats to advance to the quarterfinals.

"The wind actually switched right at the start of our heat and it really opened up the waves," Smith said. "I knew there was the potential for barrels out there and I was fortunate to sneak into a few. No pressure. I’m just going out and doing what I love."

Despite the monumental task ahead, Smith remains positive about his approach to the remainder of the event, citing his enjoyment for the sport as a major motivation in his continued performance.

"I’m just trying to prove that I can surf pretty well," the 22-year-old said. "I think we all learned a lesson from Andy [Irons]: never have a down moment, always smile and enjoy what you do. I’m having fun and surfing the way I want to. I’m not really thinking about what Kelly is thinking, but I’m here to make him work for it."

Slater survived a hard-fought battle against local wildcard Dylan Graves in Round 3 and went on to best Brazilian Adriano de Souza, and Jeremy Flores, of France, in Round 4 to advance directly to the quarterfinals.

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