This is my year, says Joel
COOLANGATTA'S Joel Parkinson is only three weeks away from getting married to partner Monica. But, before his big day, the world's number two surfer, who many believe is the biggest threat to world champion Andy Iron's crown, has some serious business to deal with at his home break at Snapper Rocks. Parkinson, who became a dad for the first time to daughter Evie last May, is leading the Aussie charge at the Quiksilver Pro, the first event of this season's World Championship Tour. Yesterday, as the world's surfing media congregated at Snapper, it was a focused Parkinson who slipped away from the spotlight to talk to the Daily News.
l Good luck for the week. How are you feeling? I'm feeling great and really excited about this event. The standard is going to be as good as it gets. I'm focused (and) putting pressure on myself ? hopefully not too much, but enough. I think this is my year. (Conditions) should make it fair game out there for everyone ? anything between three and five feet and (the quality) should be unbelievable. l Apart from yourself, which Aussie do you think will be up to the task of taking on the Andy and Bruce show? Mick Fanning. I've been surfing a lot with Mick recently and he looks really hungry. But, I guess it's tough to say, there are a lot of good surfers about. l Is it hard travelling with the family while competing at events around the world? No, it's not hard at all. I really like it, when they're there it's a lot easier. When I'm competing, Monica does a lot of the work and allows me to sleep. But, when the contest is over, she gets some time off and I help look after Evie. l What are your favourite events on the tour? That's easy, this one because I get to sleep in my own bed each night. I also love J Bay (Jeffries Bay, South Africa) and Hawaii. They're fantastic places and both have great waves. Europe is another favourite. I just love the place. It's so much fun. l When is an Aussie going to win the Pipeline Masters (Hawaii)? This year. l Who is the hardest competitor to face? Andy. He's the reigning world champion and he's won it three times now. He is just a great surfer. l Have you had your buck's night yet? Yep, I had a few guys over for a couple of quiet beers (he says laughing).