COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, January 2, 2012) – 2011 has come and gone, delivering nothing short of one of the most exciting and talked about seasons the tour has ever witnessed. We saw bombing conditions at Teahupo’o and Pipeline, rippable surf in New York and San Francisco, and landmark swells at Bells and Supertubos. We saw the ascension of Kelly Slater (USA), 39, to the annals of sport history with an unprecedented 11th ASP World Title. We saw the announcement of a new guard of challengers including Owen Wright (AUS), 21, Michel Bourez (PYF), 26, Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, and Alejo Muniz (BRA), 21. We saw the continued adaptation and high-performance of perennial threats such as Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, and Jordy Smith (ZAF), 23. We saw the preternatural performances of rotation kids Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, and John John Florence (HAW), 19. 2012 is now upon us and 2012 is a question mark. Will we see the end of the Slater era? Will the world’s greatest surfer continue to outperform the next generation of talent? And if not, who will challenge for the throne? What follows is a breakdown of the 2011 ASP World Title Top 10…Watch the Throne…
KELLY SLATER (USA): 39 years old. 48 elite tour victories. 11 ASP World Titles. Robert Kelly Slater has been surfing’s “next best thing” for the past two decades. He is considered one the most dominant figures in all of sport…and he’s exhibited no sign of slowing down. Boasting incredible fitness and an ability to adapt to the ever-evolving performance level on the ASP World Tour, Slater is as dangerous as he has ever been in his career. However, the motivation to contest an entire season may be lacking as the iconic Floridian looks to transition to the next phase of his life. A guaranteed appearance at the season opener on the Gold Coast will see the great one don a singlet once again and his result at the Quiksilver Pro will likely set Slater’s pace for the season. Question is, when (IF) Kelly walks away, who will be next to ascend the throne?
JOEL PARKINSON (AUS): With 11 seasons amongst the world’s best under his belt, 30-year-old Joel Parkinson has finished Runner-Up four years (’02, ’04, ’09, ’11). The concept of being within grasp of the ASP World Title four times in one’s career is near unfathomable and would break most mortals. Fortunately for the surfing world, the man with arguably the greatest rail game in the world is not “most mortals”. Parkinson is hungry, fit and surfing at the height of his powers. If he can stay injury free in 2012, we may very well see what so many have waited to see for so long…a Parkinson atop the year-end ratings.
OWEN WRIGHT (AUS):In 2011, 21-year-old Owen Wright announced his intentions to the world when he made the Finals in back-to-back-to-back events against Slater, taking him out in New York and narrowly losing at Teahupo’o and Trestles. That said, Wright has well and truly proven himself capable of taking out events in any and all conditions. One of the most well-rounded surfers on the planet, the progressive goofy-footer will be licking his chops at the addition of Tavarua to this season’s schedule and the rest of the ASP Top 34 will have to collectively lift their games if they’re to keep up with the kid from Culburra in 2012.
TAJ BURROW (AUS): Burrow was once quoted as rhetorically pondering his affection with the ASP World Tour as “how do you get off this ride?”. And “ride” may very well sum up the 33-year-old’s 13-year tenure challenging for the title. Burrow is one of those rare individuals who has been considered an ASP World Title threat since his rookie year, but the ageless natural-footer from West Oz has only gotten as close as Runner-Up twice (’99, ’07). From the start of 2011, the remainder of the Top 34 fixed their gaze on Burrow as he was “surfing better than he ever has” (to quote virtually every surfer on tour). While Taj continued to amaze surf fans around the world last year, he didn’t reach the podium until the ASP Prime event at Haleiwa. These days, to win the title, consistency isn’t always enough. One needs podium finishes at the elite level to break the spirits of his/her fellow challengers. Taj is more than capable of this and we may just see it in 2012.
ADRIANO DE SOUZA (BRA): In a word: “passion”. De Souza has single-handedly changed the way the world views Brazilian surfing while clearing the path for the next generation of South American talent. Adept at airs, turns and barrels, the former ASP World Junior Champion is entering into his sixth consecutive year amongst the world’s elite (at only 24 years young too). De Souza has the drive and ability to be an ASP World Champion. The challenge for him over the coming years will be maintaining his dominance as the talent level continues to soar.
MICHEL BOUREZ (PYF): Ever since ‘The Spartan’ rampaged through the qualifying series in 2008, the world has been expecting big things from the powerful Tahitian. After finding his feet throughout his rookie and sophomore years, Michel Bourez was a picture of consistency in 2011, finishing Equal 9th in the first five events of the season. After a midyear slump, Bourez punctuated the remainder of the year with back-to-back Quarterfinal finishes in Europe and an Equal 3rd at Pipeline. Owner of one of the most powerful turns in the business, Michel is especially lethal at the reef passes (oh hello Tavarua!). Bourez has finished 21st, 11th and now 6th in his tenure amongst the world’s elite and if he can get off to a speedier start in 2012, we may see the Spartan challenge for the throne.
JORDY SMITH (ZAF): There are not too many surfers out there that can blow past the world’s best surfers at only 80%, but Durban’s Jordy Smith is one of these surfers. The big South African was once again in the title hunt throughout the first half of the season, but a mid-season injury in Tahiti derailed his campaign as he had to sit out at New York and Lowers (two events we would have liked to see him at). Throughout his four-year tenure amongst the ASP Top 34, Smith has shown the world many faces: progressive rookie, disinterested party boy and now a legitimate ASP World Title contender. His fitness level has never been higher and his talent is undeniable. We’ll have to wait and see what face Jordy turns up with in 2012.
JOSH KERR (AUS): From fly boy to…well…fly boy. Australian Josh Kerr has long been considered one of the best aerialists in the world, but his tube sense and big wave bravado have long been overshadowed by his above-the-lip prowess. Until now of course. Kerrzy proved himself at the 2011 heavy water spots and his rail game has improved significantly since he first took a shot at the ASP World Title back in 2007. Now well inside the ASP Top 10, Kerr will have to deal with the expectation of his fans and the judges while figuring out where he goes from here. Is the headline “Josh Kerr Claims 2012 ASP World Title” outside the scope of reality? We’ll have to wait and see.
JULIAN WILSON (AUS): Some people are given a lot in this world. Some people have to work for everything they get. The Sunshine Coast’s Julian Wilson is someone who can fall into both categories. Oozing with natural ability, it was Wilson’s work ethic and determination that saw the young natural-footer rebound after a slow start to the season to bag an ASP Prime win in Portugal and then post a Quarterfinal finish at Jeffreys Bay before blitzing the back half of the season. His efforts garnered him the ASP Rookie of the Year title and his charging at the season-ending Billabong Pipe Masters has been burned into the memories of the world’s best surfers. Wilson makes no apologies about his motivation at the top of the sport: he’s here for the ASP World Title. 2012 may be the year we see something special.
ALEJO MUNIZ (BRA): The second rookie to crack the Top 10 on the ASP World Title rankings and the man no one saw coming. Of course, anyone who had spent some water time with Muniz prior to the 2011 season would attest to the fact that the young Brazilian is the complete package. Solid fundamentals with the ability flare his fins at will, the thing that sets Alejo apart from other newcomers is his ability to put up big results in a variety of conditions. Muniz made the Quarterfinals at Snapper Rocks, Jeffreys Bay and Hossegor and the Semifinals at New York and San Francisco. The one thing that plagued Alejo’s rookie season was inconsistency: for every Quarters and Semis finish, he would suffer a Round 2 or 3 loss. The kid’s smart and well aware of this and we expect a marked improvement in 2012, but he is a challenger for the throne?
This list obviously fails to mention the remainder of the ASP Top 34, but they should not be discounted. As Slater said, “At this level, any of these guys can win any heat,” and when that’s the case, the 2012 ASP World Title is truly up for grabs. With the deactivation of the midyear rotation for 2012, the current ASP Top 34 will compete for the entirety of the season, starting with the season-opening Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast from February 25 – March 7, 2012. Watch the throne…
2012 ASP WORLD TITLE SCHEDULE:
- Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (February 25 – March 7, 2012)
- Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (April 3 – 14, 2012)
- Billabong Rio Pro (May 9 – 20, 2012)
- Volcom Fiji Pro (June 3 – 15, 2012)
- Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay (July 11 – 21, 2012)
- Billabong Pro Tahiti (August 16 – 27, 2012)
- Hurley Pro at Trestles (September 16 – 22, 2012)
- Quiksilver Pro France (September 28 – October 8, 2012)
- Rip Curl Pro Portugal (October 10 – 21, 2012)
- O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz (November 2 – 12, 2012)
- Billabong Pipe Masters (December 8 – 20, 2012)
For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii Read more
BANZAI PIPELINE, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 5, 2011) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2011 ASP World Title Series, will commence its waiting period this Thursday, December 8, 2011 and a solid West Northwest swell is expected to see competition get underway in the opening days of the window.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, clinched a historic 11th ASP World Title at the previous event in San Francisco and the focus for this Billabong Pipe Masters will be the Vans Triple Crown Title (an ASP Specialty Series) and the requalification campaigns of the world’s best surfers.
John John Florence (HAW), 18, newcomer to the elite ASP Top 34 after the September rotation, is currently leading the hunt for the 2011 Vans Triple Crown Title after an impressive win at Sunset last week.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, and defending Billabong Pipe Masters champion Jeremy Flores (FRA), 23, have withdrawn from competition due to injury and have been replaced by first alternates C.J. Hobgood (USA), 32, and Adam Melling (AUS), 26, respectively.
Due to the expanded competition at Pipeline, the ASP has awarded two wildcard spots to surfers next in line on the ASP World Rankings, Kolohe Andino (USA), 17, and Willian Cardoso (BRA). Both surfers will receive ASP World Rankings points for their campaigns at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS PRESS CONFERENCE:
Who: Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Gabriel Medina, Jeremy Flores, John John Florence, Bruce Irons
When: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 – 11am sharp
Where: Surfer Bar, Turtle Bay Resort
The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons will run from December 8 – 20, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via http://
For additional information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
VANS TRIPLE CROWN TOP 3 (Heading into Billabong Pipe Masters):
1. John John Florence (HAW) 9,780 pts
2. Adam Melling (AUS) 9,650 pts
3. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8,480 pts
ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 5 (Heading into Billabong Pipe Masters):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 63,350 pts
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 48,600 pts
3. Owen Wright (AUS) 47,900 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 43,700 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 42,200 pts
I didn’t get to make it out to OB to watch this heat but I kept hearing about Kelly Slater’s barrel. Kelly shows his magical skills with this one as he disappears and no one thought he was making it out of the barrel but Kelly being Kelly, pops out with ease. And as you can guess the crowd goes bonkers and Levon the camera man actually peed his pants. Fortunately he brought an extra pair of speedos and just wore those for the rest of the day! Enjoy the quick clip and keep wishing that you could surf like Kelly!
Check out this video clip. It was shot by the guys at GoPro. After watching this video your going to want to get yourself a GoPro camera or wish you could surf like Kelly Slater. Keep wishing and just go get yourself a GoPro!
SAN FRANCISCO, California/USA (Wednesday, November 9, 2011) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) announced today that it has accepted the resignation of CEO Brodie Carr, effective December 31 of this year.
Mr. Carr has tendered his resignation as CEO on the heels of the premature crowning of Kelly Slater as the 2011 ASP World Champion last week in San Francisco.
“It is my duty to accept responsibility for the recent calculation error that resulted in the premature crowning of Kelly Slater’s 11th ASP World Title,” Brodie Carr said. “The determination of the ASP World Title is the most important moment in professional surfing. Ultimately, the responsibility for every activity within ASP lies with me. Therefore, I have elected to resign my position as CEO.”
Richard Grellman, Independent Chairman of the ASP Board, will temporarily act as Executive Chairman while a global search for a new CEO is undertaken.
“The Board of Directors met today and reluctantly accepted the resignation of Brodie Carr,” Richard Grellman said. “We would like to recognize his valuable contribution over the last six years and wish him every success in the future.”
Slater, who officially confirmed his 2011 ASP World Title on Sunday at Ocean Beach, will join the remainder of the ASP Top 34 at the 11th and final event of the 2011 ASP World Title season, the Billabong Pipe Masters, from December 8 – 20, 2011.
HONOLULU, Hawaii (November 9, 2011) – This Saturday, November 12, marks the official start of the world’s premier professional surfing series on Oahu’s North Shore: THE VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING, Presented by Rockstar Energy Drink. The first stop is the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park. From November 12 through December 20 — 39 days — Oahu’s North Shore will be the focus of the international surfing world, featuring the final three events of the 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals Tour, and a host of entertaining surf-inspired events.
The North Shore extends a special welcome to World Champion-elect Kelly Slater (USA), who officially clinched his 11th ASP World Title this week, & defending Vans Triple Crown champion Joel Parkinson (Australia). The North Shore also welcomes Hawaii’s very own ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore, who has been granted a wildcard to compete against the men in the first two stops of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
All surfing events of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, and the SURFER Poll Awards, will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable in Hawaii and Southern California:
HAWAII: Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channels 250 & 1250
LOS ANGELES: Time Warner Cable Channel 101
SAN DIEGO: Time Warner Cable Channel 411
DESERT CITIES: Time Warner Cable Channel 111
SURFING EVENTS OF THE VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING:
Reef Hawaiian Pro
November 12-23 (on the 4 best days of surf in the period)
Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park
$145,000 prize purse
Defending Champion: Joel Parkinson, Australia
Vans World Cup of Surfing
November 25-December 6 (on the 4 best days of surf in the period)
$250,000 prize purse
Defending Champion: Raoni Monteiro, Brazil
Billabong Pipe Masters
December 8-20 (on the 3 best days of surf in the period)
$425,000 prize purse + Nixon watch
Defending Champion: Jeremy Flores, France
Also decides Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion – $10,000 bonus
OCEAN BEACH, San Francisco/California (Sunday, November 6, 2011) – The Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco returned to Ocean Beach in peaky three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves after three consecutive lay days and saw Kelly Slater (USA), 39, officially claim his 11th ASP World Title while completing the non-elimination Round 4.
Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, stayed busy in the peaky conditions on offer at Ocean Beach and built momentum throughout his Round 3 bout, consistently launching impressive airs before throwing a one maneuver inverted grab-rail reverse to secure his position in Round 4.
OCEAN BEACH, San Francisco/California (Friday, November 4, 2011) – The ASP has admitted that, due to a calculation error within its rankings’ system, the 2011 ASP World Title has yet to be officially decided and that Kelly Slater (USA), 39, was prematurely awarded his 11th ASP World Title on Wednesday.
“Our rankings’ system is designed to split tie-breaks based off of seed points,” Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, said. “Kelly (Slater) 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.”
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, has claimed a historic 11th ASP World Title today, clinching the year-long pursuit with his advancement out of Round 3 at the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco.
In pristine three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) peaks at Ocean Beach, Slater fought back to an inspired start from opponent Dan Ross (AUS), 28, to claim victory in the dying moments in front of a capacity crowd at Ocean Beach.
“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 real dangerous with a little power so I knew he’d be dangerous and I was nowhere to be found in 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.”