Kelly Slater Wins The Kelly Slater Invitational

Kelly Slater Invitational – ‘Let’s See It!’The Kelly Slater Invitational — ‘Let’s See It!’ — wrapped up late this evening, following a couple of magical days of surfing and musical experimentation. Professional surfers and celebrities alike, enjoyed great conditions and the relaxed atmosphere Island life demands.


The brainchild of six-time world champion Kelly Slater (FL, USA), ‘Let’s See It!’ brought together the greats of professional surfing, along with invited friends and celebrities. A range of competition formats were used, documented and critiqued by Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) management and the surfers themselves.

Not surprisingly, but fitting given the inaugural nature of the Kelly Slater Invitational, the Floridian ultimately won the overall points tally. While not the main objective, the outcome did justify his belief that new and various formats can be introduced to spice up an event, with great surfing still able to prevail. Slater proved a dominate force each time he paddled out, a feat made even more remarkable given the tremendous energy and generous time devoted to the tournament and all involved.


“Obviously I’m really stoked to win, on top of the week I’ve had, said Slater tonight. “To be able to bring all these people together and see everyone work so hard to make it happen, in a relatively short period of time, was awesome for me. I’ve only really just wrapped my head around all these different criteria’s and formats, and I don’t think everyone else has. It was more of an experiment, to basically go out and surf your best, the way you know how, and the points will work it out in the end. There are strategies to approaching different criteria’s, so I think next year when all the guys have a better understanding there will be more tactics in place.

“The biggest thing for me was that everyone had a smile on their face, he added. “It was the kind of event which wasn’t so cut throat. You weren’t pressured by time, or points at the end of the year. Something a bit more fun, basically.


The ‘Sharing’ component of the event today was full of entertainment, with surfers splitting into two teams and then selecting pairs to ride waves in unison. Definitely not an easy task at solid 6ft Cloudbreak, and the session wasn’t without incident, as many of the teams crashed into each other attempting ‘synchronize surfing’. Leading by example once more, was Slater and teammate Taj Burrow (West AUS) — who placed runner-up overall. They crisscrossed with big cutbacks and re-entries, and even emerged from a couple of barrels behind each other.

“It was pretty scary, admitted Burrow. “There isn’t a lot of room to move when you’re trying to get some good turns in. You just have to work together, and let the other guy smash the lip while you’re on the shoulder. We were looking at each other, trying to get some hand signals going. It was pretty sick, but a lot of guys hit each other, so I’m glad we didn’t connect (laughs).


Earlier today, celebrities Perry Farrell (musician — ‘Jane’s Addiction’), Nick Lachey (MTV — ‘Newlyweds’), Marissa Miller (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model), Chris Klein (actor — ‘American Pie’), Jackson Browne (musician), Lance Bass (singer – *NSYNC), Tony Hawk (Pro Skateboarder), and G-Love (musician) took part in a different kind of surfing spectacle. Teaming up with professionals at ‘Restaurants’ — arguably the world’s most perfect, yet ridiculously shallow reef break — for what proved one of the funniest, as well as enjoyable contest sessions ever.

The packed lineup was all smiles, as celebrities were either pushed into some of their first rides, or the more experienced and confident surfers caught some fun waves.

Perry Farrell and pro teammate Mark Occhilupo (AUS) snatched victory with a long tandem ride, while Marissa Miller was a close second after turning the tables on two-time world champion Tom Carroll (AUS), by succesully dropping in on the master of such actions.


“I was so excited, said Miller. “I’ve got to thank Doug (Silva) for pushing me into all the waves. It was so much fun.

Last night, following yesterday’s amazing surfing performances, an impromptu jam session featuring many of the world’s best musicians, as well as surfers, blew everyone away. The all-star lineup including Jackson Browne, Perry Ferrell, Nick Lachey, G-Love, and world champion surfers Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo, as well as Slater, turned Tavarua Island into the place to be. Joined by Island boatmen Micah and Tommy, the freshly assembled band mates rocked the awe-struck audience for hours, under a star-lit sky on the main deck of the resort.

“There’s been some dream stuff take place here, but honestly, the surfing talent and musical talent on this Island… There’s no better place to be right now. Stated Tavarua Island’s managing director Jon Roseman.

Additional celebrities comments from the event…

Nick Lachey: “The whole weekend has been incredible. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and everyone from the water patrol guys, to the surfers, everyone really helped us understand what their life is like and what they do, and helped us learn. You can’t really ask for anything else. To be able to get that kind of teaching and tutelage from those guys is pretty incredible.


G-Love: “I grew up with surfing magazines and seeing pictures of Occy and Tom Curren. Like I said to my manager, who didn’t really grow up surfing but is a huge basketball fan, this is like hanging out with the first ‘Dream Team’. Michael Jordon, Shaquille, and all the greats of the sport. It’s quite an honor for me. Plus it’s in Fiji. This is the most beautiful wave I’ve ever surfed, and definitely one of the most beautiful places.

Jackson Browne: “There’s a stoke going on here which is really interesting, cause of the surfing. Tied in with the Reef Check deal too, and to get all these people here together at the same time and have so much fun is inspiring. The only thing that matters is how much fun you have, and how much passion you have. You can be surfing really badly, but then suddenly conditions can change and it’s amazing. It’s a great metaphor for life, really. That’s what I’m experiencing being here.

An incredible 21 ASP world titles are held between the ensemble of surfers present, from those competing in the event, to invited guests including four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82) and Martin Potter (1989), together with ASP President Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew (1978).


“Kelly’s event has been pretty incredible, reasoned Richards. “A mixture of some of the best surfers in the world, together with a bunch of celebrities. Occy singing a duet with Jackson Browne was pretty amazing, and there’s been some outstanding surfing. The ‘Sharing doubles’, with two guys riding the same wave, was insane. Probably the highlight though was watching Jackson Browne get one of the waves of his life this morning, and then Tom Carroll did a Tom Carroll and fully faded (dropped in on) him (laughs).

“Thanks to everyone, said an overwhelmed Slater. “This is the best party I’ve been to. We’ve done something here.

Also today, Di Walker (Mamanuca Environment Society and Reef Check Fiji Team leader) and Megan Wadley from Reef Check visited Namotu Island and educated Nick & Drew Lachey, Kelly Hu, and Lance Bass on the methods of Reef Check.

Along with Quiksilver, sponsors of the Kelly Slater Invitational ‘Let’s See It!’ are Sheraton Denarau Fiji, Air Pacific and Boost mobile.

Overall Results of the Kelly Slater Invitational — ‘Let’s See It!’

1. Kelly Slater (USA)

2. Taj Burrow (AUS)

3. Andy Irons (HAW)

4. Cory Lopez (USA)

5. Shane Dorian (HAW)

6. CJ Hobgood (USA)

7. Bruce Irons (HAW)

8. Taylor Knox (USA)

9. Tom Curren (USA)

10. Tom Carroll (AUS)

11. Luke Egan (AUS)

12. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)

Celebrity Division + their pro surfing teammates1st Perry Ferrell (musician — ‘Jane’s Addiction) + Mark Occhilupo (AUS) — tandem ride

2nd Marissa Miller (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model) + Doug Silva (USA) — dropped in on Tom Carroll

3rd Jackson Browne (musician) + Tom Curren (USA) — dropped in on by Tom Carroll

=4th Lance Bass & Nick Lachey (singers – *NSYNC) — both only surfed for first time yesterday*Best wipeout — Chris Klein (actor — ‘American Pie’) – for his back flip exit off a wave.

on + their pro surfing teammates1st Perry Ferrell (musician — ‘Jane’s Addiction) + Mark Occhilupo (AUS) — tandem ride

2nd Marissa Miller (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model) + Doug Silva (USA) — dropped in on Tom Carroll

3rd Jackson Browne (musician) + Tom Curren (USA) — dropped in on by Tom Carroll

=4th Lance Bass & Nick Lachey (singers – *NSYNC) — both only surfed for first time yesterday*Best wipeout — Chris Klein (actor — ‘American Pie’) – for his back flip exit off a wave.