Kelly Slater, 11x WSL World Champion, has formally withdrawn from the opening event of the 2018 WSL Championship Tour season, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, citing the ongoing rehabilitation of a foot injury sustained in July of last season.
“I think the best thing for me to do is withdraw from the event,” Slater said. “My gut feeling has been to use this injury as a platform to overhaul and reset my mind and body. The looming excitement about a new year starting, my foot sort of magically allowing me to surf the past couple of days and a number of other factors had me talking myself back into jumping in as soon as possible against my better judgment. I feel I’ve had a couple of half-hearted attempts these past couple of years fighting injury and desire. The foot injury symbolizes a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning.”
South African surfer Michael February, first replacement for the 2018 WSL Championship Tour (CT), will take Slater’s position in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, where he will surf against Keanu Asing in Round 2, Heat 3. Follow the action here.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 7: Michael February (ZAF) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 11: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)