Parko gets sidelined
JOEL Parkinson is out of action for at least eight weeks after a freak surfing accident prior to the Quiksilver Pro in Japan.
The world number five was practising when he incurred a grade-three torn medial ligament and was forced to withdraw from the event.
The unfortunate injury has sidelined Parko who is not expected to compete again until the end of the year for the final WCT event on the 2005 ASP World tour, the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters in Hawaii to be held at the famous Banzai Pipeline.
"Joel is having extensive medical assessments on his knee and will undergo an operation to get it fixed before competing again," said Luke Fitcher, the marketing manager for the Billabong mens team.
There are four WCT events left on the ASP World tour which would mean that Parkinson will miss the next three and hopefully recover in time for the final event at the Pipe.
Currently rated number eight in the world, Joel could slip out of the top 28 and miss qualifying for next year but will apply for an injured wildcard much like Mick Fanning had to do last year when he was sidelined for six months for a torn calf muscle.
When told of Joel's injury Mick sympathised saying that "it sucked".
Looking on the brighter side, Joel could benefit from time out as did Fanning who came back stronger than ever to win the tour opener at Snapper Rocks in March.
o o o
WHILE the clash of the titans between Kelly Slater and Andy Irons dominates the world surfing stage, Slater holding a 570-point lead over Andy Irons, Fanning is not out of the running with a respectable quarter final showing at Japan.
According to Kelly Slater, who was runner-up to Andy Irons in Japan, the next WCT event, the Boost Mobile Pro to be held at Trestles in California, will be crucial to the World title race.
"Now is the time to determine whether or not it will be a two-horse race for the title," said the former six-times world champ who is aiming for an historic seventh world title.
o o o
THE second last event on the Billabong QCC will be held on the Sunshine Coast this weekend. The final event of the Surfing Queensland series, the Billabong Queensland Open will be on the Gold Coast on December 10-11 to crown the 2005 QCC champion.