11 Times World Champion Kelly Slater Set to Return to Margaret River for the 2012 Telstra Drug Aware Pro24/02/2012 16:44PM WST
Kelly Slater, the most dominant surfer (and perhaps sportsperson) of the modern era, has confirmed he will again head to Margaret River in March to compete in Western Australia’s premier surfing event, the 2012 Telstra Drug Aware Pro.
In 2011 Slater returned to surf at Surfers’ Point after a 20 year hiatus creating huge public and media interest in Western Australia. Despite being knocked out in the Round of 24 at the 2011 Telstra Drug Aware Pro, Slater went on to claim an unprecedented 11th World Title by year end and further underline his iconic status.
Whilst Slater is yet to make a full-time commitment to the 2012 defence of his World Title, he has recently arrived in Australia to compete at the opening event of the ASP season on the Gold Coast. Additionally, he has confirmed his registration for the Telstra Drug Aware Pro, the ASP Prime Rated competition locked nicely in between the Gold Coast and Bells Beach World Tour events which start the new season.
In recent years Slater has been hesitant to make an annual commitment to the World Title Series and has often used his performance at the opening events as a barometer.
“I’m undecided as to whether I’ll apply full time (to the 2012 ASP World Title Series)”, Slater told ASP Media earlier this week. “That’s probably no secret. I’ll go by feel and whatever feels right internally, I’ll stick with that.”
Slater heads a strong line-up that will contest the Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River in March including former World Champion’s Stephanie Gilmore (2007-10), Mick Fanning (2007, 2009), CJ Hobgood (2001) and Sofia Mulanovich (2004).
The Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River will be part of a total package of events during the competition week, with a music and arts festival around the main surfing event also entertaining visitors to the region. It is expected that the Telstra Drug Aware Pro will draw bigger crowds than ever, further promoting tourism and the local economy. Spectator entry is free.