Pro surfers get into the ‘Wolf’ and Cross-Dress at the ASP Ball.
By Luke Kennedy | 24 February 2012
Matt Wilkinson and his hot date, Nick 'Nicky' Pollet arrive with bang. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
Kelly Slater was in a mischievous mood as he scooped the prize pool at last night’s ASP awards. When receiving his award for “Most Entertaining Surfer on Tour” Kelly immediately stated, “ I’d like to receive the award on behalf of Matt Wilkinson.” Kelly proceeded to walk straight off the stage and hand the fin-shaped trophy to Matt, who was sitting next to his cross-dressing date [and personal filmer], Nick Pollet. Having cast himself in the role of pro tour, court jester Wilko is constantly seeking new ways to keep things entertaining. Arriving at the ASP ball with a cross-dressing partner, resplendent in red dress and pig-tails will be hard to top.
Meanwhile Kelly continued to have his own fun. Accepting the award for best manoeuvre, for his unforgettable 540, slob grab in New York, Kelly mocked himself. “ I get the award for the best manoeuvre and worst claim of 2012.” He’d come out of the move flashing peace signs. Kelly is so far in front that he can enjoy taking the mickey out of himself.
Comfortable and composed, Kelly took his time and made his word's count. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
On the eternal retirement question he was once again determined to keep us all guessing. During his world title acceptance speech [his 4th trip to the stage for the night] he cryptically stated, “ I’m not sure if this will be my last world title but I’ll be more than happy if it is.”
If Kelly was being coy then the judges, who played their part in his eleven world titles, were trying to be as frank as possible. “Why doesn’t anyone ever thank the judges?” I quizzed head ASP judge, Richie Porter.
Dusty Payne (hiding moon-boot and torn ankle ligaments – out for 2 months) and Yadin Nicol. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
“No one ever thanks the judges. That’s a waste of three sentences,” Richie quipped. His peer Ian ‘Ratso’ Buchanan was a little less cynical. Ratso, who is also a senior ASP judge, won the world grand masters title but used his speech as an opportunity to further the cause of the often-maligned surfing adjudicators. “We do our best to get this right,” he told the crowd with all the wine-inspired sincerity he could muster. There was no standing applause from the world’s best surfers but the speech won him and the judges a grudging respect.
Notably, the night ended without any announcements about who may claim Brodie Carr’s recently abdicated chair as CEO of the ASP. For the time being the Pro Show will roll on without an official captain at the helm.
With the formalities over, band-gone-walkabout Wolfmother rolled on to the stage and blasted out their ‘70s inspired power chords, only to be a little upstaged by ageing, rediscovered rocker Sea-stick Steve, who played alongside them.
Despite the big name band it wasn’t enough to inspire the pros to cut loose later on. Gold Coast based female pro surfer, Winnie Paul summed up the apparent lack of hedonism best.
“Last year the girls were doing front flips over their trophies on the dance floor, in g-strings. This year they went home because their heels were too high…”
Tyler Wright was doing her bit for high fashion (and high footwear). PIc: natesmithphoto.com
One man stoked Wolfmother (and Sea sick Steve) rocket the house, Kai Otton and Sarah. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
Oleema Miller and Sarah buddy up for an all girl shot. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
Hawaiian womens world champion Carissa Moore, all class. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
Nicole and Josh Kerr were all smiles and enjoying their time back on the Gold Coast. Pic: natesmithphoto
World masters champion Nathan 'Noodles' Webster and his lovely girlfriend. Pic: natesmithphoto.com