Is It Ke11y Yet?

When…Err, Where Will Kelly Slater Win His 11th World Title?

Barring a monumental meltdown, Kelly Slater will be the 2011 ASP World Champion—and this year he is making the Quiksilver marketing department’s job easy.

Ke11y’s 11th title in 2011. How convenient. So well planned.

The hats and T’s are certainly being printed, and the champagne is surely on ice.

With a ninth place finish at next month’s Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco, the title is his—no matter where closest rivals Owen Wright and Adriano De Souza finish. To accomplish that, Slater needs only to make the fourth round. For some, that might pose a challenge. But this is King Kelly we’re talking about—he’s finished 5th or better in every event this year except the Billabong Pro Rio where he lost in Round 3 to Bobby Martinez. (And J-Bay, where he simply didn’t show up)

In all likelihood, this party is over. Turn out the lights.

Kelly Slater, Portugal 2011. Photo: Dorsey

Kelly Slater, Portugal 2011. Photo: Dorsey

Or, is it? For just a moment, lets play devil’s advocate.

If this was any other event on the ASP schedule (Kelly’s won them all) it’d be hard to envision an early exit—but in San Francisco, at Ocean Beach, and without the use of Jet Ski assistance of any sort, the playing field may be leveled to the point that an early Slater loss is not entirely out of the question. Long shot, yes, but still possible. Man versus (hopefully) large Ocean Beach peaks might just make things interesting.

Now, that’s not saying we at TransWorld SURF don’t want Kelly to win, because he certainly deserves his 11th crown, just that for our own selfish purposes we’d love to see this title race extended one more event. To Pipeline. The wave every world title race should culminate at.

So, what do you think? Might this scenario unfold? Will we see a Pipeline showdown this season?

Kelly Slater, pre final in Portugal. Photo: ASP/Cesari

Kelly Slater, pre final in Portugal. Photo: ASP/Cesari