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Category: Surfing

Surfing legend Kelly Slater (officially) wins 11th world title

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This time, it's official. 

Surfing legend Kelly Slater won his 11th world championship Sunday after Round 4 at the Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco. Slater was thought to have won it last week, but the Assn. of Surfing Professionals admitted it made a calculation error and crowned him prematurely.

"It was a confirmed the other day, but we’re sure now,” Slater said in a release Sunday. "I’m stoked. I was upset about it, but I also thought it was really funny. There are no hard feelings towards ASP and mistakes happen. It’s easy to point things out."

In 1992, at age 20, Slater became the youngest surfer to win a world championship. In 2011, the 39-year old Cocoa Beach, Fla., native became the oldest. 

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Kelly Slater pays tribute to Andy Irons

U.S. Open of Surfing: Kelly Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons win men's, women's titles

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Kelly Slater celebrates clinching his 11th ASP world title on Sunday in San Francisco. Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / ASP via Getty Images

Kelly Slater isn't new world champ yet; ASP says it made an error

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Check that: Surfing legend Kelly Slater didn't win his 11th world title ... or at least not yet.

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.”

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Kelly Slater pays tribute to Andy Irons

U.S. Open of Surfing: Kelly Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons win men's, women's titles

-- 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

Kelly Slater pays tribute to Andy Irons

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Surfing legend Kelly Slater, who won his record 11th world title Wednesday, took time to remember fellow surfer Andy Irons, who died one year ago Wednesday.

"He's always been one of my favorite surfers," Slater told BNQT.com. "He was the most intense competitor I've ever known and one of the most sensitive people. He had so much life left in him and it hurts to think" about his death.

A year later, Slater says he still thinks about Irons often.

"It's sort of weird. I was just thinking that a lot of things have come together. With this happening on the anniversary of Andy passing, it makes it more special. It's a way to celebrate my memories of him."

Slater credits Irons with motivating him.

"I feel blessed that we worked through the differences we had and I was able to learn what I'm made of because of Andy," Slater said.

You can read more of Slater's thoughts on Irons at BNQT.com.

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-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Kelly Slater takes part in Wednesday's competition at San Francisco's Ocean Beach en route to another world title. Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / Associated Press

 

Surfing legend Kelly Slater wins his 11th world championship

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In 1992, Kelly Slater became the youngest surfer to win a world championship. In 2011, the 39-year old surfing legend became the oldest surfer to win one. 

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."

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Peter O'Malley wants to run Dodgers

T.J. Simers: Fans should demand a legitimate new Dodgers owner

Dodgers sale: Taking a look at potential buyers

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Kelly Slater celebrates after winning his 11th ASP World Title in San Francisco on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters

U.S. Open of Surfing: Kelly Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons win men's and women's titles

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In an anticlimactic final, 10-time world champion Kelly Slater cruised past Australian Yadin Nicol to win the Nike U.S Open of Surfing men's final Sunday afternoon in Huntington Beach.

Slater burst out of the gate with big air on his first wave that led to a huge opening score of 8.5. He was never really challenged by Nicol, who didn’t surf a wave for 31 minutes of the 35-minute contest. Nicol had waited for a good set for the first part of the final, but when Slater built a big lead, he was forced to continue to wait for a perfect wave that never came. Slater finished with a two-ride score of 16.27 to Nicol’s 2.57.

"When you come to a contest you want to win, you put in your best effort," the 39-year-old Slater said. "The depth in surfing is great, and that inspires me all the time."

On the women’s side, world No. 2-ranked Sally Fitzgibbons blew past junior champion Lakey Peterson in final. Fitzgibbons was consistent with runs of 7.5 and 6.73 that gave her more than enough points to best Peterson.

The teenager from Santa Barbara on the other hand was tentative, waiting until about halfway through the final to take her second wave. But for all that patience, she was unable to capitalize with a big score. She splashed into the water after trying to get air on her third wave, and never posted a score higher than 6.27.

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Filipe Toledo captures the U.S. Open of Surfing men's junior championship

Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara is the junior women's surfing champ

Photos: The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Surf City USA

--Matt Stevens

Photo: Kelly Slater is carried through the crowd by fans after winning the men's final at the U.S. Open of Surfing on Sunday in Huntington Beach. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

U.S. Open of Surfing: Kelly Slater advances to men's final against Yadin Nicol

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With one of the best performances of the competition, Kelly Slater advanced into the men’s final at the Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.

The 10-time world champion used a backside rotation with big hang time to post an astronomical 9.77 on one of his last waves. It took the judges less than a minute to score his run, and shortly thereafter, Slater had blown away Dusty Pain in the semifinals.

In the other men’s semifinal, San Clemente’s Kolohe Andino narrowly missed a comeback victory over Yadin Nicol when his second-to-last run came up a fraction of a point short of vaulting him into the lead. Nicol won with a two-wave total of 13.44, slipping past Andino, who had 12.87. The men’s final will take place at 2:11 p.m.

The women’s final is now set to begin with Santa Barbara native Lakey Peterson ready to face Australian Sally Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons is the second-ranked women's surfer in the world, but Peterson knocked out No. 1 Carissa Moore in the semis.  

Also across the beach, Tony Hawk is preparing to compete in the Converse Costal Carnage skateboarding finals. The event will allow 15 skaters to show off their stuff in a giant blue bowl.

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Filipe Toledo captures the U.S. Open of Surfing men's junior championship

Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara is the junior women's surfing champ

Photos: The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Surf City USA

--Matt Stevens

Photo: Yadin Nicol cuts off the top of a wave during the men's competition at the U.S. Open of Surfing on Sunday at Huntington Beach. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

U.S. Open of Surfing: Lakey Peterson, Sally Fitzgibbons advance to women's final

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In one of the tightest contests of the weekend, Lakey Peterson and Sally Fitzgibbons edged out two of the world’s top surfers to advance to the Nike U.S. Open of Surfing women’s final in Huntington Beach.

Peterson knocked out recently crowned world champion Carissa Moore by seven-hundredths of a point to continue her dream weekend. Peterson won the U.S. Open women’s junior title Saturday afternoon.

Fitzgibbons, the world’s No. 2-ranked surfer behind Moore, eliminated Coco Ho by three-hundredths of a point to advance to the final. Ho finished fourth in the junior final Saturday. None of the four semifinalists were separated by more than half a point.

The women’s final will begin at 1:35 p.m. this afternoon,

Both 10-times world champion Kelly Slater and San Clemente native Kolohe Andino advanced to the semifinals of the men’s competition, which is set to take place at 12:33 p.m.

RELATED:

Filipe Toledo captures the U.S. Open of Surfing men's junior championship

Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara is the junior women's surfing champ

Photos: The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Surf City USA

--Matt Stevens

Photo: Sally Fitzgibbons shows her winning form during the U.S. Open of Surfing final on Sunday in Huntington Beach. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Brazilian Filipe Toledo wins junior men's surfing title

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Filipe Toledo is already the ISA Junior Surfing Champion, and Saturday afternoon, he became U.S Open Champion in the junior men's division on his first trip to Huntington Beach.

The Brazilian bore his country’s flag as soon as he was given one, and though he was shy about speaking English, he has already learned a crucial word in the surfer lexicon.

“It’s so unbelievable,” Toledo said. “I’m so stoke-ed.”

Toledo won a closely contested final by just more than one point over San Clemente native Kolohe Andino, who qualified earlier Saturday for the men’s final tomorrow.  Toledo finished with a first-place score of 15.17, while Andino finished with a 13.96.

RELATED:

Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow to meet in U.S. Open surfing quaretrfinal

Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara is the junior women's surfing champ

Photos: The Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Surf City USA

-- Matt Stevens in Huntington Beach

Photo: Filipe Toledo rides to victory in the Quiksilver Kings of the Groms competition last month. Credit: quiksilver.com

Lakey Peterson wins Junior Women's Championship at Nike U.S. Open

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Lakey Peterson is only 16 years old, but she looked like a seasoned professional as she hugged and high-fived people between media spots and autograph sessions, smiling the whole time. It’s an experience she might have to get used to if she keeps having days like Saturday.

Peterson won the Nike U.S. Open Junior Women’s Championship in Huntington Beach just hours after she qualified to compete in Sunday’s women’s final. Her final score of 16.07 pushed her well above the rest of the pack for the title.

“I’ve been really focused this whole event,” Peterson said. "I’m just so excited right now –- I don’t know what to say. I was looking at that trophy before the heat, and I wanted it so bad.”

The Santa Barbara native finished nearly four points ahead of 2008 winner Malia Manuel, using a board grab on her final wave to vault into first place. Laura Enever finished third, and Coco Ho, who is also in tomorrow's women’s final, finished a distant fourth.

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Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow to meet in U.S. Open surfing final

Photos: Surf City USA hosts Nike U.S. Open of Surfing

More than waves at the U.S. Open of Surfing

-- Matt Stevens in Huntington Beach

Photo: Lakey Peterson cuts back into a wave during competition Saturday at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

It's not all about surfing in Huntington Beach

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Shana Regan Gonzalez is not at the U.S. Open of Surfing to watch the competition on the water, per se. She sees the beach and the competition as an added bonus on top of her primary reason for attending: a free concert by her favorite band.

MGMT is performing tonight in Huntington Beach as the nightcap to a day of extreme sports. Gonzalez and her husband plopped themselves on a blanket at the front of the line at 6:45 a.m. to see the band. They are fans Nos. 1 and 2.

"We had a nice little piece of the beach here with a view of the ocean," Gonzalez said. "But as the time got nearer people just started rushing. So now we’re here -– squished."

But Gonzalez likes MGMT too much to really care. She likes their lyrics, their overall message, and she especially likes their song "The Youth," which she calls “the future of thought."

That’s why she got up this morning at 3:15 a.m. to drive west from her home in Yucaipa.

"It’s an opportunity to be in a beautiful place all day and get front row for our favorite band for free," Gonzalez said.

And if it wasn’t free?
 
"I would not have been here at 6:45 a.m. for a spot."

--Matt Stevens

Photo: A sea of humanity lines the beach for the U.S. Open of Surfing competition on Friday in Huntington Beach. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow to meet in U.S. Open of Surfing quarterfinals

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Sunday’s surfing is set in Huntington Beach.

Kelly Slater, ranked No. 3 in the world, qualified Friday for the U.S. Open of Surfing quarterfinals, and Saturday morning No. 4-ranked Taj Burrow posted a winning score to join him. The matchup between two of the world’s top 10 will highlight the final three rounds of the men's surfing competition, which is set to run all day Sunday.

Hours later Saturday, the women took to the water in a battle of champions for a spot in the semifinals. Freshly crowned ASP world champion Carissa Moore narrowly knocked out Santa Ana native Courtney Conlogue in what is becoming a budding rivalry. Moore will face Santa Barbara’s Lakey Peterson in the semifinals while No. 6-ranked Coco Ho will battle No. 2-ranked Sally Fitzgibbons.

Ho pulled an upset over four-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore to advance. Gilmore, Fitzgibbons and Moore were all semifinalists in the Roxy Pro Biarritz competition in July, where Moore emerged as world champion based on accumulated points.

Men’s quarterfinals

Dusty Payne vs. Tanner Gudauskas

Kelly Slater vs. Taj Burrow

Dane Reynolds vs. Kolohe Andino

Royden Bryson vs. Yadin Nicol

Women’s semifinals

Lakey Peterson vs. Carissa Moore

Sally Fitzgibbons vs. Coco Ho

MORE:

Framework: Images from the U.S. Open of Surfing

It's not all about surfing this weekend

It's all in the names at the U.S. Open

--Matt Stevens

Photo: Reigning world champion Kelly Slater catches air off a wave during Friday's qualifying at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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