Surfing fans flocked to Ocean Beach earlier this week for the early rounds of the Rip Curl Search 2011 surf contest, one of 11 events on the Association of Surfing Professionals world tour.
On Wednesday, amid some gorgeous weather and fine surf conditions, it seemed they were lucky to witness a climactic victory: Contestant Kelly Slater was announced the winner (based on cumulative points) of this year's world title.
Today, however, the ASP reversed its decision, stating it had made an error in calculations and prematurely awarded Slater the world championship for this year. Slater must in fact win one more heat, either in San Francisco or at the next event at Pipeline in Hawaii, in order to clinch the title.
Slater's closest competitor, Owen Wright, still has a chance at the
world championship if he wins both the San Francisco and Pipeline
"This was a mistake," the ASP said in a statement. "In the end, we're responsible for this and should be held accountable. We apologize to our fans, the surfers and to Owen and Kelly."
According to the Bay Citizen, even some canny fans at the event were scratching their heads over the declaration of Slater as the world championship winner on Wednesday.
The contest was called off because of poor waves yesterday and today, but will resume when conditions improve.
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