Kelly Slater Invitational – ‘Lets See It!’

posted by / News / May 25, 2004

Monday, May 24, 2004 - (Tavarua and Namotu Islands, Fiji): 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).’

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