Kelly Slater isn't new world champ yet; ASP says it made an error
The Assn. of Surfing Professionals released a statement Friday admitting the organization made a calculation error in its rankings system and prematurely gave Slater the title Tuesday.
In fact, the 39-year-old Slater needs one more heat win at the Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco or at the following event at Pipeline in Hawaii to win his record 11th world title.
"Our rankings' system is designed to split tie-breaks based off of seed points,” Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, said in a statement. "Kelly 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.”
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Kelly Slater holds the ASP World Title trophy at the Rip Curl Pro Search at Ocean Beach in San Francisco on Nov. 2. The ASP said Friday that Slater was awarded the title prematurely. Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / EPA / ASP Handout