All right, let's get it straight from the start. Although Kelly Slater has a record (9) nine WCT World Titles and another record thirty-nine (39) World Tour victories there's been one title that has eluded him for the past couple of years and that has been the championship title to his brothers "Sean and Skippy Slater Invitational". This is an accomplishment that he has not yet been able to check off on his bucket list up until this weekend.
The Sean and Skippy Slater Invitational is a fun outdoor family event that benefits the World Skin Cancer Foundation raising awareness to this often times deadly disease that effects one in five people with over a million new cases being diagnosed each year – mostly those that enjoy the healthy outdoor lifestyle.
The surfing event was started three years ago by Kelly's older brother Sean with a blessing from ASP President Rabbit Bartholomew who has allowed WCT surfers to enter this event without sanctioning fees due to the great significance and relationship between surfers and skin cancer. Rabbit has been treated in the past for skin cancer acquired from all his years surfing and realizes the importance of surfers and beachgoers to have frequent check ups to have an early detection that can be a matter of life and death.
Along with the surfing event there were eight doctors and physicians assistants on hand that performed free skin cancer screenings inside the rooms at the Hilton Hotel. Out of the 116 screenings within a three-hour period 59% of them had basil cell formations, 7 people had squamous cell carcinoma and a shocking 5 individuals had confirmed signs of malignant melanoma. That's quite heavy being that if let undiagnosed these 5 people may not be around to see next year's event. "Skin Cancer is one of the only cancers that effects people that want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. We promote a safer outdoor living and want to make people aware of the dangers of UV rays and the precautionary steps to take to help avoid the negative effects from sun exposure," says Drew Filliben, president of the World Skin Cancer Foundation. Ocean Potion, a sponsor of the event, will be releasing an Active Sunscreen that will be endorsed by the World Skin Cancer Foundation. The surfing contest will also be expanding to the West Coast with an event in April 2009 at T-Street in San Clemente.
Major props go out to all those involved in making this event a serious reality check and major thanks to Kelly, CJ and the ASP for their participation.
For more info on the WSCF check out http://www.worldskincancerfoundation.com/