On the eve of the Maverick’s Invitational surf contest at Half Moon Bay, California it was announced that Kelly Slater would be pulling out of the event. According to official ASP rules, a Top 34 surfer is unable to surf in events that are not sanctioned by the ASP.
A statement from the ASP’s Dave Prodan stated that, “ASP Top 34 surfers are only permitted to surf in ASP-sanctioned events unless the surfer and/or event applies for a specialty sanction. The 2012/2013 Mavericks Invitational did not apply for such a sanction so Kelly will be unable to participate. We are great admirers of the event and look forward to the opportunity to work together in the future.”
According to a post on SFGate.com, Slater was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to compete in the contest, but was happy to have a Maverick’s local take his place.
The story on SFGate also said that the event’s judge, Gary Linden, (who is also at the helm of the Big Wave World Tour) has been attempting to have the contest sanctioned by the ASP for months, but has been unscuccesful due to “recent executive changes at the ASP’s top level.”
It should be noted that the Eddie event has received waivers from the ASP in the past, making it possible for Slater and other World Tour surfers to compete in the event without facing a penalty from the ASP. The ASP also noted that while they are working with event officials from the Red Bull Paddle at Peahi contest, the event has not yet received an ASP waiver.
Citing injuries, Shane Dorian and Carlos Burle have also opted to pull out of the contest as well. The three surfers replacing Slater, Dorian, and Burle will be Josh Loya, Tyler Fox and Colin Dwyer.
The event is set to begin at 7:30 tomorrow morning and will feature a live webcast at MavericksInvitational.com.