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Parkinson wins Pipe Masters, clinches ASP title
HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian surfer Joel Parkinson, 31, clinched his first Association of Surfing Professionals world title after winning the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons on Friday, Dec. 14. The surf contest was the third and final jewel in the 2012 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
On the final day of Pipe Masters competition, it was Parkinson and 11-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater who were left with a shot at the world title. After Slater lost to Australian surfer Josh Kerr in the semi-final round, Parkinson was able to breathe a little easier. He went on to defeat Kerr in the final round and lock up both the world title and the Pipe Masters’ $75,000 first prize.
“Consistency paid off,” Parkinson said. “This is where I wanted to stand at the end of the year. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. I can’t describe what this feels like. I’ve had runner-ups and ups-and-downs. I’ve been to hell and back and it makes this so much sweeter.
“Right now, Pipe Master, world title, it’s all surreal,” Parkinson said. “I figured it was going to be a pressure cooker like a few years ago. I knew there was nothing I could do about it. It was about what I had to do, not about what he had to do.”
Parkinson’s win comes after finishing second in the ASP world title chase four times in the past decade; he came close in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2011 before finally taking his turn at the top this year.
Slater was gracious in honoring Parkinson in front of a capacity crowd at Banzai Pipeline after the final round.
“I had a bad string over the last few months,” said Slater. “For whatever reason, the momentum went in Parko’s direction. It was cool that it came down to this, (but) it would have been cooler to have it come down to the final.
“Joel’s been on tour for 10 or 11 years now and been in the hunt ever since he started. He’s an amazing surfer. He’s just the guy that makes it look easy.”
In addition to the 2012 ASP world title, awards for 2012 Rookie of the Year and Hawaiian Airlines Airshow (best aerial maneuver of the Triple Crown) went to local surfer John John Florence; Hawaii’s own Sebastian Zietz was recognized as 2012 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion.
2012 ASP WCT Top 5
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2. Kelly Slater (USA)
3. Mick Fanning (AUS)
4. John John Florence (HAW)
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA)