Sad news for local surf fans, who will miss the chance to see one of the greatest surfers of all time hit the waves at Snapper Rocks.
Kelly Slater has announced on Monday that he has formally withdrawn from the Quiksilver Pro as he continues to recover from a foot injury sustained in July of last season.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 in a statement.
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“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 symbolises a lot at this point in my career both as an ending and as a beginning.”
“I think it’s best that I properly rehabilitate the injury and choose to surf wholeheartedly, not from the excitement or stress of a last minute arrival. It’s not super professional or responsible and it won’t allow me to be at my best potential.”
It’s not yet known whether the 11-time World Champion will be able to return for the second event at Bells Beach starting March 28.
Michael February will take Slater’s place in the event and will be matched up against Hawaiian Keanu Asing in an elimination round two heat.
“Let him (February) know if he wins I’m requesting a 10% caddy fee!” Kelly joked.
Round 2 action at the Quiksilver Pro has been called off on Monday with the Roxy Pro event currently underway.
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)