Kelly Slater: relaxed and ready add one finger to his hand

Kelly Slater is one heat away from the 11th ASP World Surfing title. The 39-year-old Floridian opened the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco with a victory and a total heat score of 16.03 points.

“I’m stoked because I went out last night and the surf was tough, the waves were real flat and I had boots and gloves and a hood so that I could go back and feel more comfortable out there today with less rubber on,” Slater said. “The conditions today were a lot more fun. The water is like Jbay and I thought it’d be colder, it’s probably upper 50’s and it’s not too bad.”

Slater only needs to take a 9th place finish (or advance through one more heat) at the Rip Curl Pro Search to secure his unprecedented 11th crown.

“I’m going to try and just be relaxed about it because it’s a situation where you could feel tense in and want to get it over with it,” Slater said. “The reality of it is the other guys have to win both events with my last heat win so the pressure is on them. I don’t feel like I can relax though because the guys now have to focus and that’s when they could do something magic. That’s how it goes in competition and I don’t doubt that that’s a possibility. It is close. I just need to catch four good waves in this event to win the title.”

Ocean Beach is delivering clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves through the banks and plays a pivotal role in determining the 2011 ASP World Champion.

Slater also was quick to remember that tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the passing of the late Andy Irons and expressed that clinching his 11th ASP World Title would follow second in remembering the life of his friend.

“The globe’s a cool trophy and if I happen to make it out of the next round I’ve love to win this contest,” Slater said. “Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Andy’s passing away and it’s going to be a sad and happy day in remembering him and if Ironically if I can win the world title on that day it’d be secondary to the memory of Andy.”

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH SAN FRANCISCO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 12.50, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.80, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.50
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.60, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.43, Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.00
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.67, John John Florence (HAW) 10.67, Daniel Ross (AUS) 7.00
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.10, Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.87, Tom Whitaker (AUS) N/S
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.67, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.10, Dillon Perillo (USA) 4.86
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.03, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.90, Dean Brady (AUS) 9.97
Heat 7: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.10, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.43, Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.33
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.23, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.77
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.10, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.77
Heat 10: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.40, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33, Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.37
Heat 11: Chris Davidson (AUS) 16.10, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.26, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.10
Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.10, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.77, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.30