QUIKSILVER’S KELLY SLATER WINS SURFING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Cutting-Edge Performer Breaks His Own World Record with Seventh World Title
(Huntington Beach, CA) --- Quiksilver, a division of Quiksilver Inc.and boardriding industry leader, congratulates Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, Florida) on beating his own world record by winning his seventh world surfing championship today. During his outstanding 2005 surfing season, Slater has won four WCT titles on the ASP World Tour, in Tahiti, Tavarua and Namotu (Fiji), Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) and Trestles (California).
Slater clinched the world championship today at the Nova Schin Festival in Brazil, when his main rival for the title, Hawaiian Andy Irons, stumbled in a quarter-final showdown against in-form Australian Nathan Hedge. While Slater was eliminated in the previous round of the event (by fellow Quiksilver team rider Travis Logie of South Africa), Irons needed to progress past the quarter-finals to keep the title race alive going into the final event in Hawaii next month. With Irons’ elimination, Slater’s lead in the ratings became insurmountable. The huge crowd on Vila Beach, Imbituba, was emphatic in its support for Slater during the crucial Irons-Hedge quarter-final, and when the horn sounded to signal Irons’ loss, Slater, who had been sitting quietly in the competitors’ area, was overcome with emotion, raised his arms in celebration and cried tears of joy.
“Everything started coming into my head,” said Slater. “I was the youngest world champ and now I’m the oldest world champ; it’s been seven years since I won my last title and this is my seventh one; I won my first one and my last one in Brazil but all those numbers and things…they are not as important as the feeling. But it all started to hit me and I just need to get on the phone and call my family.”
Slater also gave enormous credit to Irons, the current and three-time world champion.
“I want to give Andy a hug right now,” continued Slater. “He’s pushed me to levels that I haven’t reached before, and being on the beach the crowd is definitely on my side over Andy’s, but I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without Andy. He deserves all the credit in the world. The guy’s an unbelievable surfer, one of the great surfers of all time, and I know he’s going to win at least one more world title, if not more. I hope that everyone out there can understand that, because of Andy, pro surfing is much better, and he’s an amazing guy.”
Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight said that Slater was the ultimate athlete and competitor.
“Kelly just keeps coming up with new ways to extend his legend within the sport of surfing,” McKnight said. “Not only is he an incredible surfer who continuously performs at an all time high level, he is also an amazing person and ambassador of surf culture. Winning his seventh world title and extending his own world record sets today’s victory apart from any other, and Quiksilver simply could not be more proud of Kelly Slater.”
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong was among the first to congratulate Slater on his achievement. "Congrats and welcome to the #7 club,” said Armstrong. “Now that I am retired maybe you can give me some surf lessons."
Slater burst onto the scene in the early 1990s as a teen phenom, and dominated surfing during that decade, winning world championships in 1992 and 1994 -1998 before taking a three-year hiatus to travel the world. A major contributor to surfing’s explosive popularity, his aggressive, precise and innovative style has led numerous commentators to dub him “the Michael Jordan of surfing”. Slater finished 3rd on the WCT 2004, posting nine quarterfinal or higher placings.
In honor of Slater’s seventh world title, Quiksilver is giving fans the opportunity to share in his achievement by making limited-edition commemorative Kelly Slater merchandise.
Quicksilver Buys Rossignol
Fashionable sportswear brand Quiksilver has announced a deal to buy Rossignol Group, a French skiing gear and winter sports goods company, for about $320 million, or $25.50 per share. Quiksilver's acquisition of Rossignol is expected to create a force in sports fashion products ranging from apparel to equipment.
"We share the same passion for outdoor sports, and we have the same commitment to developing outstanding products," Quiksilver President Bernard Mariette says. The move mirrors a wave of consolidation rippling through the consumer-goods and retail industries.