Best mates to go head-to-head
BEST mates Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson will suspend friendship when they go head-to-head for a spot in the Quiksilver Pro final on the Gold Coast.
The pair grew up together and share a long friendship and rivalry as two of the best surfers in the world, but only one will get boasting rights after their semi-final showdown today.
Both moved one step closer to the final after blistering performances at their home break of Coolangatta Beach on Tuesday.
In tricky conditions made worse by cyclone Hamish, Fanning and Parkinson proved local knowledge was invaluable by respectively defeating the Hobgood twins, CJ and Damien, in their quarter-finals.
Fanning, in particular, looked the goods after a near flawless performance in the water, delivering one of the best waves of the competition so far.
His 9.93-pointer was just one of many near-perfect waves he has produced this event, but Fanning said unpredictable conditions might well throw a spanner in the works.
He said he and Parkinson had shared many great battles, including their last head-to-head clash when Fanning took the spoils.
“Yeah, I got him ... but that was two years ago and we're both different people now,” he said.
“We always sort of push each other and sometimes it's pretty, sometimes it's ugly.
“I'm pretty lucky to have my best friends on tour, it's sort of unlucky that we're all going for the same thing, but it doesn't matter, you go out there and give it your all.
“If you win, you win, if not, it's still not a bad result.
“(But) I'll ring him tonight and sing him a bedtime story.”
Parkinson said it would be as much a battle against the weather as each other.
“As much as I'll be against Mick, I'll be against the ocean,” he said.
Surfers battled sometimes violent swells, torrential rain and strong winds during competition - a by-product of cyclone Hamish, which continues to stalk the Queensland coast.
“From now on out, it doesn't really matter who you've got the way the waves are,” Parkinson said.
“(But) Mick's got me a couple of times lately, so maybe it's my turn.”
In other action, Brazil's Adriano de Souza caused the upset of the day when he booted world No.2 Bede Durbidge from the competition, scoring a two-wave combined heat total of 17.86 to Durbidge's 6.77. De Souza is hoping to end Australia's dominance of the event.
De Souza meets Australia's Taj Burrow in the second semi-final, after his last-gasp defeat of compatriot Adrian Buchan.