Joel Parkinson: from injured to crowned

Joel Parkinson has returned in great shape to pro surfing contests by winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro, in Haleiwa. The Australian surfer, 29, recovered from a six-month injury and defeated Joel Centeio (HAW), Julian Wilson (AUS) and Heath Joske (AUS) to claim the first jewel of the Hawaii.

Parkinson was the only athlete to score a perfect 10, during the entire event.

"It has been a pretty up and down year emotionally," said Parkinson. "I cut my foot and I was out of action for six months, I didn't surf for three months and I didn't compete for six months. Then I had a baby son so we had some joy, and then Andy (Irons) passed. It's been one of those years with one good thing then one bad thing. The year is almost over, we'll get through it and I'm trying to make amends with all good things that can happen from here to December.

"Riding a wave is always one of those things that, no matter what happens in or around your life, you can still ride a wave and forget everything.

Joel Centeio, the defending champion, got the second place while Wilson took third and Joske fourth in the final heat.

Only 11 head-high waves were surfed but the first competition is done. Surfers now head to Sunset Beach, just seven miles from Haleiwa, for the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing.

Final of the Reef Hawaiin Pro:

1ST - Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00; $20,000
2ND - Joel Centeio (HAW) 7.04; $10,000
3RD - Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.86; $5,100
4TH - Heath Joske (AUS) 3.14, $4,900