Sport

Parko could lead surfing world

Joel Parkinson in action.
Joel Parkinson in action. Matt Dunbar/ ASP

WHOEVER wins the Quiksilver Pro France, Joel Parkinson will retake the world ratings lead and keep his world title hopes alive.

The 2012 ASP world title is turning into one of the closest on record between the Cooly Boys Mick Fanning and Joel versus King Kelly with Hawaiian rookie, John John Florence, trailing with an outside chance.

There are now three events left with the Rip Curl Pro Portugal next, followed by the O'Neil Coldwater Santa Cruz in November and then the Billabong Pro Pipeline Masters in December.

In previous years the world title has been claimed before Hawaii but this year it will go down to the wire, giving Florence some light at the end of a very deep intense tunnel!

Fanning's fall from form started at Trestles against Kelly in the semis, ironically when Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, arrogantly stated Mick could fix Kirra Point after Fanning's opposition to a Cruise Ship Terminal at the Southport Spit.

The world's fastest surfer didn't bother responding to Tate's spat in the media while Mick biographer, Tim Baker, sent the mayor of a copy of Mick's story.

You'd have to think that while Fanning would have kept his focus on his surfing and a third world title shot, Tate's comments over Kirra would have touched a raw nerve and were a low blow especially as the mayor had promised as part of his run for the city's top job that he would find the money to rebuild Big Groyne.

Fanning's early round three exit in France at the hands of sponsored wildcard, Dane Reynolds, is a setback but White Lightning will be fired up with his sponsor's next event on the beachbreaks of Peniche, Portugal.

California's elusive and most uncommitted competitor, Reynolds, is having one of his best runs ever.

Considered to be the world's best free surf who has the luxury of just surfing for a living, Great Dane, at 27, caused the biggest upset of the event by eliminating current ASP WCT No 1 Fanning ,in round 3..

"That was a tough heat," Reynolds said.

"I was nervous before the heat coming up against Mick in kind of tense conditions. The peaks are all over the place and unfortunately for Mick he was out of rhythm and broke his board.

"It's not easy out there. There's obviously not pressure on myself to get a result here like Mick, but I still want to perform and surf well."

Despite the at-times trying conditions, Reynolds secured the fourth perfect 10 of the event for an incredible free-fall drop on his forehand, navigating through several critical sections and exiting to the raucous applause of thousands on the beach.

La Graviere beachbreaks at Hossegor are some of the hardest, most powerful in the world, similar to South Straddie with an intensity of breaking so close to the shore but when it's overhead, its life threatening as witnessed by Jeremy Flores who had a two wave hold down.

Slater described the conditions like a 'Mavericks' shorebreak and Hawaii's Florence likened it to a Waimea Bay shorey!

When it came down the crunch, Parko and Slater, who had to battle through round 5, had collected 10 point rides in their semis.

Slater's exemplary form in the quarters against Kieren Perrow who had pushed the King into round 5, was nothing short of absolute brilliance, posting 19.93 out of 20 with a 10 and a 9.93 and dropping a 9.2 and 8.50.

The semi-final battle against Joel is so critical towards the world title for both contenders.

They are matched on exchanges with Kelly winning over Joel in their last final at Trestles.

Slater has never won the Quiksilver Pro France - the one event that has eluded the champ with 50 WCT victories at the tender age of 40.

While Dane Reynolds is yet to win a World Championship Tour event, of course everything will be revealed overnight.

One thing I did notice on the webcast was Kelly making faces at Joel's daughter Macy who just stared back at the King with a look of 'don't bother me Kelly, daddy's gonna get you'.



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

How to push your happiness buttons

BRAINY BOOST: Exercise is a natural way to boost your endorphins and happiness.

Manipulating the neurotransmitters that make you feel good.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

Local Partners

Charity has grand plans to help people help themselves

A charity that helps homeless and needy has opened a new shop in a bid to raise money to fund a venture that will feed and skill the very people it supports.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Gig guide: Get the blues in Broadbeach

Russell Morris will perform at The Star Gold Coast as part of Blues on Broadbeach on Friday, May 19

Festival fun and top shelf gigs

Tweed's weekend gig guide

Wally and the Gators play Club Banora on Saturday night

What's on in the Tweed

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!