Kelly shows political candor!
Slater lost in heat one of round three in pumping Main Break conditions. He proceeded to paddle to a nearby wave, still donning his red number twelve, to try and wash off the disappointment. Classic Slater move.
An hourish later he returned to the beach and met Barton Lynch for a post-post-post-heat interview. After detailing the myriad of mistakes from his heat (psyching too hard on the surf, looking for massive pits rather than reasonably scoring waves, losing competitive focus), Kelly was passed this query from Barton.
“Tell us about the importance of this event to the World Tour — Margaret River, big waves.”
After an awkward pause kelly went full politician, avoiding the direct question and pandering about how beautiful the region is etc. Finally he dropped this bomb.
“We’ll see what happens with [the Drug Aware Pro]. It may not be on Tour next year, it may be on Tour, I don’t know. Coming here surfing my first heat was kinda said, like aw man, we’ve grown pretty accustomed to this place… We’ll see what happens.”
This comes just days after STAB’s double feature on the topic, one which states that Slater dislikes Main Break, and the other that implies the Drug Aware Pro could be replaced with a wave pool event, both of which would explain Slater’s reluctance to answer.
Of course this is still just conjecture, but I’m conflicted by the news. On one hand I’ve always hated watching Main Break. On the other hand, it’s actually been fucking incredible today. A true pleasure to watch. But long term, losing Margies would probably be for the better.
That said, the idea of a wave pool comp still troubles me. It might be fun to watch, it might not, but either way I don’t know if pool surfing should be part of our elite tour. It seems too fake, gimmicky, whatever. I’m pretty sure none of the old boys look back fondly on the Pennsylvania event. Granted Slater’s pool is a little different.