- 11 December 2008 | Surfing
Joel Parkinson (AUS) surfed a perfect heat to etch his name in the history books at the Billabong Pipeline Masters today. The current World No. 4 scored two perfect 10s to become the only surfer to earn a perfect 20 out of 20 heat total at Pipeline. Parkinson eliminated Vans Triple Crown front-runner Dusty Payne (HAW) in the process.
“I never thought I would get two perfect 10s,” Parkinson said. “It’s not something you hear about every day, so I’d never really thought about doing it. I definitely claimed it like I had won an event for a second, but then I had to settle down and tell myself, ’All you did was make a heat!’ The next heat I paddle out for, I’ll have to remember that."
Nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is the only other surfer to score a perfect 20 out of 20. He did so in a 2005 final at Teahupoo, Tahiti to win the contest.
"Kelly did it in unreal fashion, mine was a just in a third round heat, but it’s at Pipe and it’s definitely something that when I grow old, I’ll think, ‘I did something in my career my name’s next to Kelly’s on that one,’" Parkinson said.
Parkinson finished fifth in Halewia and Sunset – the first two legs of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing – and with Nos. 1 and 2 Payne and C.J. Hobgood (USA) losing today, has a good chance to take it out.
"That was a big heat for the Triple Crown for sure,” Parkinson said. “I have to start thinking more about the Triple Crown now. I have to forget about those 10s and start surfing heats from now on and not get too ahead of myself."
Slater surfed his first heat since clinching ASP World Title No. 9 today and was not surprised by Parkinson’s performance earlier in the day.
“I’d expect Parko to be the guy to do that.” Slater said. “He is such a magnet and not every guy can get in sync like Parko does he gets on a roll and it gets scary. He will probably go on to win the Triple Crown judging from the heat he had today.”
- 10 December 2008 | Surfing
Paige Hareb makes history as she secures a spot in the 2009 Women’s World Championship Tour.
The powerful 18 year old placed 7th overall on the WQS ratings and had to anxiously await final results of the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach to confirm which WCT girls had re-qualified, and whether that meant a place for Paige on the tour.
"Yesterday I was really nervous as I knew Silvana had to place well for me to be guaranteed a spot. It's just great to finally hear it's official now and I'm on," an excited Paige said.
As the first female Kiwi ever to make the tour, Paige was unsurprisingly ecstatic after celebrating her official qualification, “The news hasn't completely sunk in yet but I am really looking forward to next year, I am proud to be the first Kiwi girl to qualify for the WCT,” Paige said.
Paige’s success on the WQS wasn’t her original focus, as she was committed to the junior series with a few WQS events thrown in to gain experience. However, after placing 5th at Phillip Island and 1st in Margaret River, Paige made the decision to keep going and the rest, as they say, is history.
"My realistic goal was to qualify for 2010. So to qualify this year was a complete surprise! I would never have thought this would happen so soon"
Paige will now compete in the Billabong Pro Maui as a wildcard, a perfect opportunity to compete against the girls that she will come up against next year with no expectations or pressure.
"I'm really excited to be a part of the Maui event. Being a wildcard I have nothing to lose and it will be a great experience to surf against those girls".
- 10 December 2008 | Surfing
California’s Chris Ward (USA) took advantage of clean eight to 10-foot conditions at Pipeline to top score on Day 1 of the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Ward made two critical, late- barrels to amass a near perfect heat total of 19.90 out of 20.00 in Round 2.
“It isn’t the biggest day and it isn’t really that scary out there, it’s just pristine and there are pretty good ones out there,” Ward said. “You just have to luck out and get in the right position to get them. I was with both of those waves and those were two of the biggest sets in our heat. I was lucky to get under them and I was really happy.”
Currently rated 24th on the 2008 ASP World Tour, Ward needs to make heats to ensure his spot for next year’s tour. His heat win today will see him into Round 3 where the Top 16 seeded surfers on the ASP World Tour will make their 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters debuts.
Round 1 and the first half of Round 2 were completed today. The first two rounds of the event featured low to mid range seeded ASP World Tour surfers, wildcards and replacement surfers.
Sixteen-year-old John John Florence (HAW) took full advantage of his last minute berth into the event to flare at his home break and eliminate ASP World Tour surfer Jay Thompson’s (AUS) hopes of requalifying for the 2009 tour. Florence found his way into the main event this morning when replacement surfer Reef Macintosh (HAW) was unable to fill in for injured Top 45 surfer Ben Bourgeios (USA).
"I woke up this morning and they said, ’You might get in,’ and I was like, ’Really? Sick!’” Florence said. “I got in in Reef’s spot and I am so stoked."
Florence, who has been charging Pipeline since he was 8-years-old, had his first shot at competing in the Pipeline Masters in 2005. At 13, the North Shore local surfed the trials but did not make it into the main event. He will meet World No. 16 Kieren Perrow (AUS) in Heat 9 of Round 2 which will likely run tomorrow morning at 8.
"I surfed in the Pipeline Masters trials when I was very little but it wasn’t really that good because the waves were really big and weird,” Florence said. “So I am so stoked to be surfing out here when it is so perfect with four other guys out. There were some fun waves out there today."