NEWLY crowned Australian Indigenous Surfing Champion Otis Carey says he can finally put behind him a racially offensive comment published in a Gold Coast surf magazine.
After tasting glory on Bells Beach at the weekend, the Coffs Coast boardrider, 26, took to social media today to comment on a public apology written by Surfing Life editor Nathan Myers in respect to an article published in March.
"Now the truth is published hopefully this can now move forward for the greater good," Otis posted on Facebook.
On a surf forum, Nathan Myers wrote: "In the March edition of Surfing Life I published an article which referred to Otis Carey in terms that I had intended to be highly complimentary."
"I now understand that Otis and others found my references offensive.
"I apologised immediately and want to again apologise to Otis.
Media reports that Otis Carey had attempted to sue for $200,000 in emotional damages were also refuted.
"While Otis did issue court proceedings, he did not claim any amount for damages and reports to the contrary are simply wrong," Myers said.
In the water at the weekend, Otis became the nation's top indigenous surfer by defeating former champion Russell Molony.
"I've always wanted to win this contest so I'm really happy," Otis said.
"It's hard to explain winning this competition.
"It's such a special thing for all the indigenous surfers to get together and that's probably the most special thing about the contest," he said.
Otis now gains a wildcard into the open men's division at the Australian Surf Festival in Coffs Harbour later this year.