Turns out the king of the surf hasn’t earned his crown yet.
The Association of Surfing Professionals made a calculation error in their ranking system and awarded champion surfer Kelly Slater, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., with his 11th World Title on Wednesday before he’d actually won the competition at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The association announced the error on its website Friday and issued an apology.
“In the end, we’re responsible for this and should be held accountable,” World Tour Manager Renato Hickel said in a statement. “We apologize to our fans, the surfers and to Owen and Kelly.”
Aussie surfer Owen Wright is tailing Slater in the competition and a tie between the two led the ASP to jump the gun on hailing Slater the winner.
The ranking system used by the ASP breaks ties based on seed points, so when Slater and Wright tied, Slater got the win.
Slater still has a good shot at clenching the title — he has to win one more heat, either at the Rip Curl Pro Search at Ocean Beach, or at the competition’s next and final stop in Hawaii.