Joel Parkinson 

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, has won the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile, defeating fellow finalist Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, in solid six-to-eight foot (3 metre) surf at Kirra.

After a 12-year hiatus, today’s action brought the ASP World Tour back to Kirra for the Finals of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Whilst it was not classic Kirra, the challenging conditions at the historic pointbreak offered churning barrels with massive scoring potential.

Parkinson, winner of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in 2002, was fearless from the outset in the hard-fought Final, collecting an excellent 8.83 out of a possible 10 on his opening ride, breaking his board in the process.

“That first wave was a good one but I came down funny on the floater and buckled my board,” Parkinson said. “I came in and just got energized when I heard the score and everyone on the beach really pumped me up. The crowd is awesome. There are so many people. Down here you don’t really see it, but from the water you can see the crowd on the hill and all along Coolangatta and even down Kirra Point. I could hear them roaring – it was amazing.”

The hometown favorite would return to the lineup to collect a bevy of high scores, including a 7.50 and an 8.17, before nailing his second perfect 10 of the day, pushing his heat total to an unsurpassable 18.84 out of a possible 20.

"I was thinking it has been a long time between drinks [ASP World Tour event wins],” Parkinson said. “Until the hooter blew, I didn’t know what emotion to feel. It’s the kind of thing where you’re surrounded by a lot of people and it’s not until you pull yourself back and you’re together with family and friends, that’s really when you feel all of your emotions. Right now I’m on a high and I’m buzzing, it will be a few hours to let it all sink in."

Parkinson now sits atop the ASP World Tour ratings, in excellent position for his 2009 campaign for the ASP World Title.

“There’s still a long way to go and there are a lot of dangerous surfers out there,” Parkinson said. “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. It is a long year with a lot of stops [on the Dream Tour]. It is going to be a great year.”

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Joel Parkinson 

The Semifinalists of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile were decided today in pumping four-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves at Coolangatta Beach.

The opening event of the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast utilized its third venue today, having used nearby Duranbah Beach for the opening rounds before returning the primary site of Snapper Rocks and finally to today’s Coolangatta Beach where the local boys dominated Round 4 and the Quarterfinals.

Mick Fanning (AUS), 27, former ASP World Champion and past two-time winner of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, was in devastating form this afternoon, defeating Damien Hobgood (USA), 29, in the Quarterfinals with the highest heat total of the day (an 18.53 out of a possible 20).

“It was a fun heat,” Fanning said. “I was lucky to get the jump on Damo [Damien Hobgood] at the start. I wanted to wait for a good opening wave and it came. On that 9.93, I went into it and saw it chandelier’ing so I reset my feet and just tried to hit it strong. It went all white and I was lucky it had an opening. It was pretty fun.”

Now into the Semifinals, Fanning will find himself battling Coolangatta stable mate Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, for a spot in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final.

“Joel [Parkinson] and I have been great friends since we were little kids,” Fanning said. “It will be a really tough heat. We are always pushing each other. Sometimes it’s pretty and sometimes it’s ugly, but I’m definitely looking forward to it. I don’t really know what the conditions will be like tomorrow. All of the maps that I look at said it was going to be a lot bigger than we have seen today. It could be 100-foot or it could be two-foot.”

Parkinson, current ASP World No. 4 and past winner of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (2002), was near unstoppable today at Coolangatta Beach, defeating Chris Davidson (AUS), 31, and C.J. Hobgood (USA), 29, in Round 4 and the Quarterfinals respectively.

“My Quarterfinal felt like it was a little bit bigger than my heat this morning – a lot more water moving,” Parkinson said. “My strategy stayed the same, but more effort was needed throughout the heat. It was hard to stay in position, the current out the back is so strong!”

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Makka Beach 

Seventeen year old Shane Simmonds walked away with the 1000 points on offer to the winner of the second event of the Jamaica Surfing Association’s 2009 National Open Surf Series. The event which was contested at the Makka surfing beach at Southaven in St Thomas on Saturday March 7, was supposed to have been run on the previous Saturday and was rescheduled due to small surf. The organizers could not have been happier with the decision as beautiful 4’ to 6’ surf rolled in at the world famous surfing beach all day.

Twenty four surfers from both the northeast and southeast divisions registered to compete. They were divided into 6 heats from which the top twelve advanced to round 2. Four heats took the field down to the top eight surfers for the two semi finals.

Semi final 1 was between Inilek Wilmot, Luke Williams, Ackeam Taylor and Jason Pusey. The 15 minute heat saw 20 waves ridden with Inilek nabbing an 8.0 from the judges for his best wave which put him out in the lead. Second place changed hands a number of times but Inilek solidified his lead with a 7.5 and booked his place in the final. The judges had their work cut out for them in selecting the second surfer to advance as all were surfing well, but when the scores were tallied Luke squeaked by Ackeam and Jason to make the final.

Semi final 2 was a unanimous decision by the judges when Shane Simmonds, Icah Wilmot, Eneson Lightbourn and Ackeam Phillips paddled out for their 15 minute heat. They rode 23 waves between them but Shane made his statement with fast crisp manoeuvres to the delight of the crowd on the beach and secured the first spot in the final. Icah was constantly nipping at his heals but when the horn sounded he had to settle for the second spot in the final ending Eneson and Ackeam’s journey.

It seemed the sea had saved the best for last. As Shane, Icah, Inilek and Luke paddled out a majestic wave rolled down the beach to the great excitement of all the surfers present. The horn sounded for the beginning of the ultimate heat of the day and it was on in earnest. The sun glistened on the turquoise waves as the offshore wind fanned their quivering crests. Shane had not lost his edge from his semi final heat and continued to dominate the waves with immaculately executed turns. Icah was there also showing why he is the most “sponsored” Jamaican surfer. His brother Inilek off his win in his semi final was also on fire drawing eye-pleasing flowing turns and throwing lots of spray. Luke was surfing strong pulling off some impressive “floaters” and “Lip bashes”.

When the final horn sounded it was up to the judges and the crowd waited as scores wee tallied. Shane had done it with Icah second, Inilek third and Luke fourth.

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