Rumors had been flying through the Twitter universe for a few hours this morning and the ASP just confirmed their mistake: Slater is not mathematically the 2011 champion. Yet. Based on a complex series of calculations that involve tiebreaks and seed positions, Slater was awarded the title despite the possibility still existing that the World Title could end in a tie between Slater and Owen Wright, currently #2 in the rankings. Kelly needs to win only one more heat this year, whether in San Francisco or Hawaii, and he will officially, again, be the 2011 champ. Owen needs to win both the Rip Curl Search contest now underway, and the World Tour event at Pipeline to be crowned ASP champion. Stranger things have happened, including this current accounting snafu. Slater, class act all the way, tweeted that he had discovered the mistake himself, and notified the ASP.
“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.”