World-renowned surfer Kelly Slater did it again on Wednesday, collecting his record 11th Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) title at the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco.
Slater, who competed in the Quiksilver Pro New York hosted in Long Beach in September, only needed to win his first two heats to clinch the title. According to ESPN, Slater tallied a heat score of 15.13, eliminating Daniel Ross by .73 in the second heat to clinch the title in what were referred to as "cold, demanding conditions."
"People always talk about my age," Slater told The Australian after his win. "I'm 39 going on 40 in a few months and, to me, that's literally just a number. If you can prove people wrong and stay healthy — to me, I don't see why at 50 I can't be in better shape than right now, and I think I'm going to be."
The Florida native had a rough start to the 2011 season and found himself on the outside of any chance at a title, but a strong August got him back in the hunt heading into the Quiksilver Pro New York hosted in Long Beach.
According to ESPN:
Now back in the title chase — but still a relatively distant threat — he would go on to finish second at the Quiksilver Pro New York, and win the Hurley Pro in California (he met Australia's Owen Wright in all three finals, setting yet another ASP benchmark). Then a second place finish at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in early October all but sealed the deal.
Despite falling in the finals to Wright, Slater became a fan-favorite in Long Beach back in September after wowing residents again and again. He nailed the only perfect score of the competition with an incredible big air 360 (see video).
After the Quiksilver Pro New York wrapped up, Slater and other pro surfers stuck around a little longer and joined local firefighters and police officers who rode their boards side-by-side in the Bravest vs. Finest Surf Challenge.