Slater aims to make history

NINE-time world champion Kelly Slater will begin his campaign for an unprecedented tenth title at the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks from February 28.

Slater, 37, who in past seasons has been reluctant to commit to a full year of competition, has announced his intentions for the Gold Coast comp and acknowledged the allure of a tenth world title.

“I'll be on the Gold Coast for sure,” Slater said.

“I'm pretty excited about some new equipment and am ready to surf, I think.

“Number ten is alluring and is there for the attempt, but I'll let everyone else worry about the pressure of it as well as I can.”

Slater admits ten world titles will be no easy feat, especially considering the hunger and talent of returning ASP Top 45 rippers.

“I'm not sure whether Dane (Reynolds) and Jordy (Smith) will pull straight up to that level to start this year or not, but I know that Parko's always hungry and Mick (Fanning) goes without saying,” Slater said.

“C.J. (Hobgood) got a taste of it last year again and will come out firing for sure. Taj will be hungry, but I wonder how his focus will be after a couple of really great seasons and not quite the results that his surfing shows all the time - he's always one of the best at Snapper.

“Bede (Durbidge) will quietly execute more people and Bobby (Martinez) is going to be the hungriest, starting the year without a main sponsor.”

Mighty Mick dropped to number eight spot last season, but the ultra-fit natural-footer is recharged for another assault at the title.

“Last year, I wasn't motivated at all really,” Fanning said. “It was a huge learning curve for me with all the extra attention (as the world title holder), but I had fun.

“I also had a hip problem throughout the year so I took a couple of events off to get on top of that. This year, I feel very focused and motivated. I am healthy and fit and everything else is going really well.”

Café Le Monde at North Kirra will host a fundraiser for the Fijian flood appeal and “Save the Children” fund on February 25. The Bulla night has been organized by Ken Lucas and will have a surfing auction with signed boards from the pro's and raffle prizes from Billabong. Lucas Proudfoot will be playing with Max Judo. The show kicks off from 6.30pm. For more info contact Ken on 0413 128 399.

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