Inside scoop: Conner Coffin witnessed a man shot and killed in Rio just days before the contest was set to run. Inside sources tell Surf Heater that, after hearing the news, 11 time world champion Kelly Slater decided to pull out of the Rio Pro. The official announcement is expected to be made shortly.
Already a controversial stop after last year’s mystery plague that literally ran through participating surfers, this development will surely be weighed heavily in the ensuing debate as to whether or not Rio will stay on the schedule.
Reports confirm there were several other witnesses, along with Coffin, to the murder. Coffin and other tour surfers are safe, yet it is unclear if the contest to will procede.
Conner Coffin, who we here at surfheater.com have endearingly dubbed “The Great California Nugget of Glory” is currently ranked number 11 in the world. Matt Wilkinson sits atop the leaderboard after winning the first two contests on this year’s schedule, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach. Young Kauaian Sebastian Zietz and Brazilian Italo Ferreira round out the top three.
Stay tuned for more developments on the situation in Rio.