SAN FRANCISCO - Kelly Slater won an Association of Surfing Professionals-record 11th world title on Wednesday at the Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco.
The Florida native earned a score of 15.13 for the heat, edging Daniel Ross of Australia by .73 points.
"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 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."
At 39, this is Slater won his second consecutive Association of Surfing Professionals championship.
The win also came on the anniversary of the death of Slater's friend and three-time world champion Andy Irons.
Slater said the competition was a way of celebrating Irons and honoring his memory.
The contest at Ocean Beach was the first professional surfing event in San Francisco in decades. Surfers enjoyed pristine 3- to 5-foot waves.
"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. It's very fulfilling and there's personal satisfaction. 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.
"What are the chances of me winning on the anniversary of Andy passing away? It makes it a lot more special for me."
Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco
Round 3 results:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.40 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.00
Heat 2: Taylor Knox (AUS) 14.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.57
Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.10 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.43
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.37 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 5.36
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.87 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.50
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.13 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 14.40
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.54 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 12.43
Heat 8: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.10 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.40
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.97 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.50
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.87 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 6.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.17
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.34 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.17
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.10 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.33
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.37 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.37
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.43 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 8.87
Heat 10: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.66 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.86
Heat 11: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.33 def. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 12: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.73 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.40