Photo by ASP-Scholtz. Kelly Slater wins his 10th ASP World Title and the Rip Curl Pro Search in Puerto Rico.

On November 6, 2010 in Porta Del Sol Puerto Rico, Kelly Slater, 38, made sporting history, claiming an unprecedented 10th Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Title at Rip Curl Pro Search event. It was also his 45th elite tour event.

With his advancement out of the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Search, Slater amassed enough points to move out of reach remaining contender Jordy Smith and collect the 2010 ASP World Title, culminating a 20-year effort.

Photo by ASP-Scholtz. Kelly Slater in the tube at Rip Curl Pro Search.

“I don’t know, it just happened,” Kelly Slater said after the event. “If you look at the heat, Adriano (De Souza) passed one up and let me have it and that was a good wave and that was pretty much it a few minutes into the heat. I just want to send my condolences to Irons family. It’s been a week of extremes for me. If it wasn’t for Andy (Irons) there is no way I’d be here in this position right now. I don’t really know what else to say, I’m a little overwhelmed right now. I want to dedicate this to Andy and to my family.”

As we wrote about last week, Andy Irons, 32, the former three-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World Tour competitor, tragically passed away in transit back home from Puerto Rico. The iconic Andy Irons and Kelly Slater had been great friends but also fierce competitors, especially during battles for the ASP title, Vans Triple Crown, including Pipeline from 2003-2006.

Andy Irons on the podium winning the Pipeline Masters at the Vans Triple Crown, with Kelly Slater in the background. Photo by Label Networks.

“This is the only event close to my home and I spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico when I was a kid,” Slater said. “I used to surf a lot of contests at Jobos and Wilderness, so this was kind of like a homecoming for me. A lot of my friends here I’ve known for 25 years and to surf with Dylan (Graves), I used to surf with his father in Florida when I was a kid. It was a special time. To be close to Florida and to win the 10th and get that wave (the Perfect 10) in the Final, there is nothing else I could add to it.”

According to Slater, “I decided to go for 10 (ASP World Titles) when a friend asked me if I’d decided to win 10 yet after a few contests into this year. I told him ‘yeah, okay.’ That was right before Brazil. At that point I knew I could do it, but Taj (Burrow) looked good to start the year, but to me it looked like Jordy (Smith) was the guy early on. Mick (Fanning) had a lot of ninths and he knows he’s not going to win a title with ninths. Besides Jordy’s 17th, his worst result was the Quarters, so I knew there was no room for error. These last five events have really come together. I don’t really know how it came together the way it did.”

Bede Durbidge, 27, missed the last ASP Dream Tour stop in Portugal to attend the birth of his first daughter, Willow, and today’s Runner-Up finish is a fitting return to form for the big natural-footer.

“I felt good going into the Final and like I was building momentum all the way through but Kelly (Slater) stopped me with that 10,” Durbidge said. “It’s still a fantastic way to come back though. I missed the last stop in Portugal to be there for the birth of my daughter, Willow, and I can’t wait to get home to her and my wife. I miss them both. We were all surfing for Andy (Irons) this week and everyone surfed amazing.”

See below for’s video of Kelly Slater’s teary tribute to Andy Irons after winning his 10th ASP World Tour title.

Next up for surfing is the Vans Triple Crown series starting Friday, November 12 and running until December 20, 2010 on the North Shore of Oahu. This is when the sleepy country community becomes a buzzing hub of the worlds top surfers, fans, and media. The first stop will be the men’s Reef Hawaiian Pro and the Cholo’s Women’s Pro at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing consists of three men’s and three women’s professional surfing events that are the final stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour. In its 28th year, the Vans Triple Crown is considered the most prestigious title in surfing next to the ASP World Title. Each event has an extended holding period with competition taking place on the biggest and best days of surf at each venue.

In honor of former world and Vans Triple Crown champion Andy Irons, there will be no competition on Sunday, November 14, regardless of surf conditions, so that competitors can attend Andy’s memorial service on Kauai that day.

On the same day in Huntington Beach, CA, surfers will also gather at 12:30 for a memorial paddle-out in honor of Andy Irons.

The event schedule of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is the following:
Reef Hawaiian Pro & Cholo’s Women’s Pro
Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park
November 12-23
* No competition Sunday, November 14, due to Andy Irons’ memorial being held on Kauai *

O’Neill World Cup of Surfing (men) & Gidget Pro (women)
Sunset Beach
November 24-December 6

Billabong Pipe Masters & Vans Women’s Duel for the Jewel
Banzai Pipeline
December 8-20

Additional events include:
Reef Clash of the Legends:
In addition to the 6-star prime surf contest, Reef also presents the “Clash of the Legends” at Haleiwa, bringing four of professional surfing’s most iconic world champions back to the contest arena: Mark Occhilupo (Australia), Tom Carroll (Aus), Tom Curren (USA), and Sunny Garcia (Hawaii). These four champions will compete three times during the course of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, with a best-of-three champion to be crowned on the final day. This special event is dedicated to three-time world champion Andy Irons.

World Miss Reef to be Crowned:
Surfers aren’t the only ones competing at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing this year; Reef will also present the World Miss Reef final at 4pm on Saturday, November 13. The competition will be broadcast live on the internet at and will feature 2010 Miss Reef winners from Panama, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Aregentina, Chile and the USA.

To check it out, every morning at 7:45am will present “THE CALL” , Vans’ Live Morning Show that will bring you up to speed on all the latest news, highlights and happenings. The series will also be broadcast live on television around Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Digital Cable channels 250 and HD1250.

There will also be a Vans Live app for iPhone and iPad which you can download for free. The app features video highlights, photo galleries, results and live coverage from the North Shore of Oahu, via 3G or WiFi.

Stay tuned for more stories and images as the Vans Triple Crown gets underway.’s excellent video recapping his win and dedication to Andy Irons: