Joel Parkinson: hang in there, mate

Only Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater are surfing the 2012 ASP World Tour title waves, as Mick Fanning is eliminated from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons.


The six-to-eight foot (2 – 2.5 metre) waves at the Banzai Pipeline saw top seeds hitting the Hawaiian line-up. The 2012 ASP World Tour title is on the line, with only two contenders up and riding.

Joel Parkinson won his Round 3 heat over wildcard Kalani Chapman and is closer to a maiden world surfing title. Later he got through to the Quarterfinal.

"It's good to get in the water and start the game," Parkinson said. "It was torture watching yesterday, but it's a nervous frustration. You've got to scramble at the start and stay patient at the end".

"I tried to get a couple of early ones and then wait. I got folded on a crazy left and then found that perfect drainer on the right. Backdoor can offer the best section to lay one over and it had the perfect part to lay one over. It felt so good to do that."

Kelly Slater earned the day's highest heat total, an 18.63 out of 20, navigating both Pipeline and Backdoor with precision timing.

"It drives you nuts when you're in the event and the waves are so good on the opening day," Slater said. "Backdoor got a little better today because the swell got a little more North, but last night was A-plus Pipe and everyone knew about it"

Slater needs to keep his winning pace and improve Joel Parkinson's result at the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters. "Joel and I aren't going to come up against each other unless we're in the Final. If you're thinking about that during your heat, you're not thinking about what’s going on in the water. You have to be clear minded from all of that stuff".

Mick Fanning, who was in contention for the ASP World Tour title heading into the Billabong Pipe Masters, was eliminated from competition by wildcard Shane Dorian.

"Shane (Dorian) has been a hero of mine since I learned how to surf and I wanted to be in the water with him"m Fanning said. "We said we'd make it a fun one out there. We were going tit-for-tat and I was close on the last one but it got me at the end".

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.40, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.17, Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.96
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6.20, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 5.83

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Shane Dorian (HAW)