Joel Parkinson opened his Triple Crown of Surfing defence in perfect fashion with a stand-out win in the final of the Hawaiian Pro. Looking to salvage something from a year ruined by a foot injury which kept him out of the water for three months and out of competition for six, Parkinson demolished his rivals in the four-man final. The Gold Coast 29-year-old registered scores of 7.17 and 7.83 for a two-wave total of 15 to easily beat fellow Australians Heath Joske and Julian Wilson and local hope Joel Centeio.
The win capped an emotional ride for Parkinson, who had not competed in an event since April’s World Championship Tour event in Brazil and more recently has been dealing with the death of close friend Andy Irons. “It has been a pretty up and down year emotionally,” Parkinson said. “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.”
The Hawaiian Pro is the first stop in the Triple Crown of Surfing, which is awarded to the surfer who produces the best combined results in the three season-ending events in Hawaii. The second stop is the World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach starting on Thursday, with the final event being next month’s Pipeline Masters, which doubles as the last event on the world tour.