The Cream, ASP Banquet, Australia
Last night, the annual ASP Banquet was held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, opposite Jupiters Casino at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. Two days before competition starts for the first event of the year, the Quiksilver Pro, World Tour surfers and a selection of respected older surfers, up-and-coming surfers and former and aspiring […]
Last night, the annual ASP Banquet was held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, opposite Jupiters Casino at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. Two days before competition starts for the first event of the year, the Quiksilver Pro, World Tour surfers and a selection of respected older surfers, up-and-coming surfers and former and aspiring world champions tighten cuffs, button shirts and polish leather shoes for the most formal event on the ASP calender.
At the main entrance was a blue carpet and shooting gallery. Surfers gathered in a small area at the bottom of the driveway, and were driven up one-by-one in Land Rovers and limousines to the entrance where they were introduced, photographed, questioned and ushered. The last three surfers left to be driven up, (not by coincidence), were junior world champ Jack Freestone, world number two Jordy Smith, and 10-time world champion Kelly Slater. Some surfers came alone. Some came with friends. Some had entourages. Some had partners. Jordy rolled up with his South African buddy, Steve ‘Laces’ Michelsen and photographer Ryan Miller (who shot this moment.) Kelly arrived with girlfriend Kalani under his arm.
In the moment you see above, the groups are waiting to be driven to the entrance. Kelly was to arrive at the entrance last, so Jack (milling about in the background there) went next, then Jordy’s crew, then Kell and Kalani. This photo’s a perfect snapshot of surfing right now: a new junior world champ (Jack), an undoubtedly future world champ (Jordy) and a 10-time world champ (Kelly). What you don’t get from this photo is the smell of cologne, the awkwardness, the sense of excitement, the sound of a not-too-distant media frenzy and the certain aura that only a world champion carries. Full report on the Banquet coming real soon. – Elliot Struck
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