Parkinson on top of the world with win
JOEL Parkinson is now the new men's ASP World Tour ratings leader after winning the Quiksilver Pro at Kirra Point in sensational fashion and looks every bit the goods to be a 2009 world title contender.
His semi-final clash with close Cooly mate, Mick Fanning, was the heat of the event and could have gone either way.
Parko holds a winning ratio over Fanning and their semi-final clash is the second highest scoring heat in ASP history, based on the best two waves format.
Of course nine times world champion, Kelly Slater holds the perfect score - 20 out of 20 - in Tahiti '05 and in 1996, Shane Beschen scored the never to be broken 30 of 30, back in the days of the best three, ironically at Kirra.
After beating Brazilian youngster Adriano De Souza in the final, Joel paid homage to his family entourage including wife Monica, daughters Evie and Macy, his dad Brian and mum Joe, legendary Uncle Darryl, sister Bianca, his new trainer Wes Berg and surfing coach Luke Egan.
Egan insisted that Parko take a certain JS board out and in the end helped Parkinson to the title.
In his winning speech, Parko stated “Kirra sucks in it's present state” and encouraged the community to get behind the Campaign to Bring Kirra back.
The cyclone swell responsible for the Kirra kegs, would have gone to waste had it not been for the efforts of jet ski drivers and professional lifeguards, Mic Dibetta and Jamie Mitchell, whose “intimate ocean knowledge” of using jet skis in solid surf and the quick turn around time helped surfers make the most of the conditions.
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THE Parko party celebrations went off in true Cooly style at the Coolangatta Sands Wednesday night.
“Now I know what it's like to drink with all the riff raff,” Parko jokingly announced to the cheering supporters from the bar.
Reigning world champion, Kelly Slater, cruised by the pub from a late surf, dripping wet in his wetsuit and clinging to his board.
He “bravely” stuck his head in and copped a bit of friendly cheek but to his credit, he came back fully dressed to have a couple of beers with Parkinson and the crew.
Parkinson was back on deck early Friday morning to take his oldest daughter Evie to school and then proceeded to hold down many morning interviews.
He again reiterated that Kirra was not Kirra as many once knew it.
ASL magazine summed it up by saying, “Kirra's not back but Parko is!”
Apparently Parkinson tested up to 60 boards from his shaper, JS (Jason Stevenson) since arriving home from Hawaii after winning the Hawaiian Triple Crown and he will compete for his board sponsor at next weekend's Jim Bean Surf Tag Series.
After that, Parkinson will be taking time out surfing if the waves are good, going fishing and spending time with family and friends before the next WCT, the annual Rip Curl Easter Pro at Bells Beach, an event that Parko won back in 2004.