If Kelly misses Portugal the WSL must slug him with a $38k fine. But what if mysterious injury strikes?
It could be my imagination, but it seems like Mr Slater, our GOAT, king of the savvy media presence, doesn’t really give much of a shit anymore. He spent a fair portion of his post round two heat interview complaining about the WSL’s decision to run the event a few hundred yards down the beach from where it was actually firing, kind of an atypical move from a guy who usually keeps his comments nice and politic.
The talking heads quickly dissembled, “you’ve gotta be on it before it gets good,” or something along those lines. But I think it’s pretty obvious why the WSL would stick with a bad decision. Moving all that gear a few hundred yards up the beach at the last minute would be quite the logistical undertaking. Better to sacrifice quality in favor of convenience, right?
Peter Mel, looming over the Syrian with blue-green eyes, turned the topic to Slater’s previous comments regarding blowing off the Euro leg of this year’s tour.
“I think it would be wrong of me not to show up if I have a mathematical chance at the title. That was really what it boiled down to.”
Sure, a mathematical chance, albeit one that depends heavily on everything going wrong for everyone else, something Slater openly acknowledged.
But there’s another factor, unspoken but sure to have had an effect on the King’s decision making. An increase in fines for no-showing events, enacted in 2011 after Dane, Kelly, and Bobby Martinez blew off a lackluster J-Bay comp (click here) would have left Kelly staring down the barrel of $38,000 in fines if he skipped both venues.
Per the WSL rulebook: Failure to attend the CT Events entered with warning but no doctor’s certificate (men and women seeds only):
M – $12,500; W- $5,000
M – $25,000; W – $10,000
Automatic suspension for 3
Events or remainder of the
tour year if less and no entry
into QS 10000 Events during
Unless Kelly has a crazy secret gambling addiction, I can only assume it’s been a very long time since he’s had to worry about money. Even so, 38K ain’t nothing to sneeze at. You could use that money to buy a mid range sedan, a couple city blocks of derelict apartment buildings in Detroit, or an entire shipping container of refugee orphans.
But Kelly’s a smart guy, and he started laying down a plausible story, in case the next round doesn’t go so well and he’s over hanging around for Portugal.
Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through. Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.
“I got hurt in my first surf, I got knocked out. Lucky I didn’t drown. Sorry mom! And then my surf yesterday, after my heat I was really frustrated so I just stayed in the water and surfed for a while, and I got this one big bomb and I ate it and I think I tore my intercostals between my ribs, here. So I actually woke thinking I might not surf today because I didn’t think I could paddle. But I iced it all night and it seems like it doesn’t hurt as bad.”
Intercostal muscle injuries do hurt, something I can vouch for as I once strained mine coughing out an enormous bong hit. Nagging pain for weeks, though nothing a motivated Slater couldn’t, and obviously has, tough his way through.
Still, it lays ground for the delicious doctor’s certificate that would absolve him of any rule breaking.
An interesting note regarding the doctor’s certificate, the WSL Rulebook doesn’t require competitors to employ a WSL sanctioned doc, interesting info should anyone decide to skip events in the future. There’s no shortage of half-assed doctors willing to diagnose anyone with anything. “Oh yeah, here’s my note from Dr Barnabas McGee of the Lesser Antilles Upstairs Medical College. He couldn’t find any paper so he wrote it on the bottom of this old shoe. But he’s totally a real doctor, dude had a stethoscope and put his finger in my butt and everything!”
I reached out to Dave Prodan, VP of communications for the WSL, and asked if the WSL would fine Slater, should he miss Portugal.
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I got a terse and unilluminating response!
“If conditions surrounding the withdrawal of any athlete warrant it, then actions outlined in the WSL Rulebook are executed,” wrote Prodan.