Joel Parkinson: fit to win

Joel Parkinson has conquered the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach after defeating Mick Fanning in an electric Final in solid six-to-eight foot (2 – 2.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach.

The Australian clash was the perfect celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surfing event. The historical swell, the huge crowd and the quality of the surfers couldn't be better.

Parkinson opened up with an 8.53 on the first ride of the heat and drove the nail into the coffin with a Perfect 10. Watch the highlights, here.

"To me, Mick (Fanning) has been the form surfer of the event and I was never going to take him lightly," Parkinson said. "I think we both had the same game plan of getting the first good one that came through and putting the momentum behind us. We scrapped for that first wave and I got the nod. Even though it was a mid-8, I knew I needed a lot more to hold him off so I just kept the pressure on from there."

"It’s incredible," Parkinson said. "It’s not so much the fact that I’ve won the event, but more so that it’s the 50th anniversary. It feels that much more special. We’ve had such good waves too. I can’t remember the last time that Bells had such good waves. I’m so excited. I can’t believe this."

Joel Parkinson reached the third Bells title and his 10th elite tour win overall. He is now in second place on the ASP World Title rankings. Fanning, who last rung the bell as a wildcard in 2001, was unable to overtake his Gold Coast sparring partner in the Final.

"It was a tough Final," Fanning said. "For some reason overtime we have a heat he gets in sync real early. I tried to fight back but it was too little too late. Surfing against your mate is just like surfing against anyone else you've just got to go out and think about yourself and catching waves and getting scores. To have a mate beat me makes it a bit easier to swallow, but I'm still fired up for the rest of the year."

Kelly Slater suffered a surprise elimination at the hands of Adriano De Souza, in this morning’s Quarterfinal clash. The young Brazilian left little room for the Champ to respond and an admittedly out-of-rhythm Slater saw his Bells Beach title defense cut abruptly short.

Slater’s Equal 5th at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach sees the American holding the lead in the race for the 2011 ASP World Title heading into the next stop in Brazil.

RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.53
2 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.26

RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.87 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.23