Kelly Slater is out of the Mavericks International before he even got a chance to catch a wave.
The 11-time pro tour champion withdrew from the event, making him the second big name to withdraw from the tournament. Shane Dorian, who is considered the best at the giant surf competitions, had to pull out after he suffered a shoulder injury at Nazare, a big-wave venue in Portugal.
Carlos Burle, a finalist at the 2010 Mavericks International, is also out with a shoulder injury he suffered after a wipeout Maui.
It’s not as clear why Kelly Slater is out, the San Francisco Chronicle noted:
“The issue of Slater’s absence is murky, and not entirely satisfying to digest. It’s unclear why this issue would suddenly surface at the last minute, but Slater faces a conflict with the Association of Surfing Professionals, governing body of the professional tour. Mavericks is not an ASP-sanctioned event, and as such, Slater could face being fined, losing points (in the tour standings) or having his seeding changed in ASP events if he competed at Mavericks.”
The paper reached out to Kelly Slater about his reason for pulling out, but the surf legend didn’t respond to the request. The paper tracked down another source who said Slater was disappointed to miss the tournament but relieved his spot will be filled by a dedicated Mavericks surfer. He’s only surfed there a handful of times.
Thought Kelly Slater is out, fans of the Mavericks International have a lot to look forward to, The Associated Press noted. Meteorologists have predicted near-perfect weather conditions for the tournament, which has not been held since 2010.