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Kelly Slater Wins Oakley Wave of the Winter Powered by SurflineSalem-News.com
11-time World Champ also claims CLIF Bar Overall Performance Award for stellar Pipe season
(HUNTINGTON BEACH GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - 11-time World Champ Kelly Slater's no-handed Pipeline bomb earned top honor as the Wave of the Winter for the 2013-14 North Shore season. After much scrutiny of a host of top rides, the expert judging panel of Gerry Lopez, Pancho Sullivan and Ross Williams declared Slater the winner based on wave size, degree of difficulty of maneuvers, style, and an overall "heaviness" factor.
"That was one of the best waves I've ever had out there," Slater said. "I was late on the drop and had to do a big pump to get some speed. I didn't even grab because I thought the lip was going to explode me off. Somehow the explosion didn't shoot me back up the face and then it shot me out so hard. I was on my toes in the air."
Slater became the first surfer in the event's young history to win both the Oakley Wave of the Winter and Clif Bar Overall Performance Award. The Overall Performance Award was given to Slater for demonstrating outstanding skill, commitment, courage, and style, while consistently riding the most challenging waves offered on the North Shore through the Wave of the Winter waiting period. He received a $10,000 cash prize, as well as $10,000 to donate to his charity of his choice, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation.
After a somewhat slower early season, the ocean's energy really began to pick up in December delivering several days of near-perfect conditions during which Slater snagged his $25,000 ride on December 21st. As the crowds thinned in January, Pipeline took no notice, serving up ideal conditions and powerful swells well into the late season. With the ASP World Tour on recess, Slater stayed put on the North Shore, wracking up multiple entries throughout the winter and building a strong case for the Overall Performance Award.
"Kelly had a hell of a season," said Head Judge and Pipeline legend Gerry Lopez. "That's how it is when there are these once-in-every-30-years Pipeline seasons, the cream rises to the top. He was consistent and awesome. Plus, Kelly has to work harder to get his waves; the hardcore Pipe guys don't cut him any slack like they would for Jamie or John John or Mason. So let's celebrate Kelly's excellence in the most excellent Pipe season since '74."
During Slater's Clif Bar Overall Performance interview on Australia's Gold Coast, Oakley's Sebastian Zietz and Tommy Whitaker jumped out of the bushes with an oversized $25,000 check and bottle of bubbly in celebration of the double victory. A stunned Slater exclaimed, "No way! Are you serious? Wave of the Winter! That's such a surprise. I knew I had a couple good ones. They told me the other day I got the Performance Award, and I was really stoked. I wasn't expecting this at all. I came down here thinking, 'Oh, I wonder who got the Wave of the Winter?' And then these guys jumped out from behind the bush and just surprised me. I'm really stoked."
Wave of the Winter sponsor Oakley was honored to award the grand prize to Slater.
"That was by far one of the best early North seasons I have seen," said Ronny Nelson, Oakley Global Surf Manager. "There were some absolutely heavy days out there and guys were pushing the limits further than ever. The wave Kelly Slater won was one of the coolest waves I have ever seen ridden at Pipe. Some how Kelly does what he does with that off balance approach through the barrel, but what I think is amazing is how he seems to carry more speed out of a barrel than anyone else. Truly the best ever at backhand tube riding and a well deserved win."
In a new division for 2013/2014, Pipeline specialist Jamie O'Brien claimed $20,000 for the GoPro of the Winter for his POV angle of a lengthy Backdoor barrel.
Special thanks to Oakley Wave of the Winter Powered by Surfline judges: Gerry Lopez, Pancho Sullivan and Ross Williams and Contest Director, Darren Brilhart.
Download a clip of Slater's winning ride at Pipeline, filmed by videographer Bruno Lemos, who received $5,000 for capturing the winning wave.
-About Surfline/Wavetrak, Inc.-
Surfline/Wavetrak, Inc. specializes in providing live and predicted ocean weather information, editorial content, and consulting services to consumers, businesses, and government agencies worldwide.
Headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, Surfline/Wavetrak Inc. is focused on enabling its customers to pursue peak surfing, marine, and fishing experiences through the Surfline.com, Buoyweather.com, and Fishtrack.com brands on web and mobile platforms.
Since 1985, Surfline.com has built the largest streaming coastal HD cam network and merged premier surf forecasts and editorial talent with industry-leading technology to produce content of quality aimed at active participants in the sports of surfing primarily, with other ocean enthusiasts such as stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing, bodysurfing, bodyboarding and kitesurfing utilizing the services as well.
In 2003, Surfline/Wavetrak Inc. acquired Buoyweather.com, a popular website for boaters, sailors, anglers and divers. Buoyweather is unique from its network of "Virtual Buoys" that provide focused marine forecast data for coastal and offshore areas in the world. From each virtual buoy point, users are able to gauge current wind speeds and swell heights, as well as garner a seven-day marine forecast for that precise location.In 2012, the Company launched Fishtrack.com, a website for offshore fisherman.
Fishtrack offers coverage of many of the world's top sport fishing destinations. Users are able to view the latest SST charts and chlorophyll imagery, plot waypoints and receive marine weather forecasts with one convenient tool.
The company's online properties were visited by an average of 175,000 unique people per day and an average of 2,000,000 per month.
The Company offers paid premium subscription services on both web and mobile platforms. In addition to paid subscriptions, the Company also offers advertising and provides a range of marketing services designed to reach and connect with users of Surfline, Buoyweather, and Fishtrack.
For more information on Surfline, please visit http://www.surfline.com
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