Surfing legend Kelly Slater wins his 11th world championship
Slater, a Cocoa Beach, Fla., native, won a record 11th Assn. of Surfing Professionals world championship Wednesday during the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
Any chance Slater will retire? It doesn't seem so.
"I think 39 is actually pretty young to most people," Slater said in a statement. "I guess in the past, you would top out once you hit 30, but that’s definitely not the case now. I feel like I’m surfing at the highest level of my career, and I feel like I can keep going. I haven’t thought about it too much, but I plan on relaxing for the rest of the year and enjoying my time in Hawaii. We’ll see what 2012 brings to the table."
Slater tallied a 15.13 in Round 3, besting Dan Ross, a 28-year-old Australian, by .73 to clinch the title, his second straight that also falls on the one-year anniversary of the death of Andy Irons, a bitter rival and former three-time world champion.
"It’s sort of weird, and I’ve been thinking about a lot of things coming together," Slater said in a statement. "What are the chances of me winning on the anniversary of Andy passing away? It makes it a lot more special for me. It’s a way to celebrate my memories with him and be thinking about him. It’s been on my mind, and I wrote a story about him the other day. It’s a time to think back."
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Kelly Slater celebrates after winning his 11th ASP World Title in San Francisco on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters