Kelly Slater has conquered an unprecedented 11th ASP World Tour surfing title. The Floridian surfer confirmed another year of world glory after winning his Round 3 heat at the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco in Ocean Beach. Now, it's Ke11y Slater.
Kelly Slater enjoyed each moment before the decisive heat against Daniel Ross. He arrived at Ocean Beach at 11:30 am with his girlfriend and looked very calm and relaxed.
Minutes before the Round 3 clash, he had time with his board and prepared it for a historical moment. The standard thruster was all waxed and ready to go. Slater paddled out at 2:30 pm.
Ross was not invited to the KS party and opened his show very well with a 7.7 wave. Kelly needed a few waves to get going.
The first half of the heat was tight. Kelly only secured the 11th title in the last minutes after delivering above-average wave performances.
"It was a scrappy heat, I didn't win it in the most effortless style," Slater said.
"I've had a lot of heats with Rossy (Dan Ross) this year, and he's really dangerous with a little power, so I knew he'd be dangerous, and I was nowhere to be found at the beginning of that heat."
"I was hunting those lefts, and they were fading off. I was thinking, 'why am I taking off on these things.' I knew I had to get in on some of those rights. That wave had a nice open face, and I thought it'd probably be just enough."
"This is pretty fabulous," Slater said.
"Two days ago in the afternoon, it was chunky and small and didn't look inviting at all. Yesterday was nice and today looks like a nice day in France. I don't know - this hasn't sunk in. I've been pretty stressed about it, and I'm glad it's over."
"It's very fulfilling, and there's personal satisfaction. It feels really nice. I've dedicated my life to surfing and competing, and to go a whole year and win a world title and have it pay off, it's really fulfilling."
"To win on American soil is nice. Everyone's been so cool, and the locals have been so stoked. It's been a special time. It's been warm and offshore and a nice little swell. Someone's looking over us and probably Andy (Irons)."
"There's been a lot of support, and everybody has been so cool. It's been a special time. It's warm and offshore. It's probably Andy. It's weird, and in a way, it is special."
"It's a way of celebrating the memories I have of him. I could probably write a book about all the situations we had together", he added.
"It's sort of weird, and I've been thinking about a lot of things coming together. 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 think 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."
"I think 39 is actually pretty young to most people. 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."
The iconic 39-year-old surfer - he turns 40 on February 11 - is simultaneously the youngest and oldest world champion in the history of surfing. Slater won in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
With no more fingers to celebrate the 11th title, Kelly Slater's future is unpredictable. Every year, he is expected to quit the ASP Tour, but every year he finds a new challenge.
So, why not win a world surfing title at 40 years of age?
The fact is Kelly Slater has a very busy agenda. When he's not competing at the highest level, the US surfer supports several NGOs, participates in advertising programs, and boosts his Kelly Slater Wave Co.