Slater Left His Mark on Margaret River.
With all the hype surrounding the Pro - where it's going to be held, what days might provide the best surf, who is up against who, whether Margaret River will hold its place on the tour, and all the rest of the stuff that circulates each day, sometimes it's nice to step back and take a breath. Saturday's conditions were sensational last weekend, and amongst the crowds and heats and chaos and excitement on offer, we noticed something pretty interesting. Heat one was the sensational showdown between Kelly Slater (45 year old 11 time world champ, and BIG crowd drawer) and Jack Freestone, lesser known Aussie favourite. After the heat, in which Freestone defeated Slater, crowds gathered near the walkway in anticipation of interviews with both surfers. While Jack exited the water immediately and admirably performed his media duties, spectators looked around, wondering where Kelly was. What some people didn't know was that Slater had paddled over to Southsides, and was catching a few waves along with the State Juniors, who were holding their own competition in the ten foot plus massive swell. After saying a few hellos in the water, he then paddled into the beach and came up the stairs. Now this is pretty awesome for several reasons, first and foremost we have some of our up-and-coming juniors now able to boast that they had a surf with none other than KS in pumping ten foot surf. Awesome. He then conducted his interviews, all with a smile on his face, had a joke and a chat with a few of the media crew, and then proceeded to spend the next ten minutes signing autographs, chatting with the kids and high-fiving his fans. All after a heat loss. What an attitude, what a surfer. You may be out of the Margies Pro KS, but you're certainly not forgotten.