“I finally f++king won!” Sometimes, a t-shirt nails it. And Kustom’s victory shirt for Parko summed up the combination of relief and joy on the beach today. After 12 years battling out on tour, including four-runner-up finishes and three Triple Crown titles, Joel Parkinson finally f++king won the world title - and the Pipe Masters to boot.
About time, too.
“Over the last 12 years, people have seen how much he puts into his surfing and his family and his life; Parko really deserved it,” Mick Fanning said just after Kerrzy took down Slater in the semis, giving Joel the title. “Today was incredible. First it was in Kelly’s court, he had to perform.
Then it swung back. And then it swung back. A lot of times, the title comes down to one heat, but the back-and-forth was electric. And even though they didn’t surf against each other, Parko and Kelly were battling each other emotionally.”
A Parko/Kelly final would’ve been Hollywood material, but the scriptwriter must’ve not taken into account Josh Kerr, who bounced back from a R4 injury to take down the 11-time world champ in what turned out to be a slow semifinal.
“I felt like physically I was gonna be sick after Kerr’s first wave (a 9.2), like ‘could this really happen?’” Parko said of the Kerr/Slater semi. “And then it felt like time started going backwards. I can’t believe it’s actually happened — it feels very surreal.”
While the seconds ticked off and Kelly holding a 4.9 heat total - and only needing an 8-something - Parko’s camp at the Billabong house paced and whistled, started jumping up and down and hugging and clapping as the buzzer sounded. He was chaired up the beach in what was arguably the longest, soft-sand chair in ASP history.
Today is the final day of competition in the 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu. First heat in the water features Kelly Slater, who is attempting to win an unprecedented 12th ASP World Title. The only 2 surfers that have a shot at the title anymore are Kelly and Joel Parkinson. There is a good chance that both of them will advance to the finals and face each other in an exciting, epic showdown. Down to the wire! The contest will be starting at 9:00am Hawaii time (11:00am Pacific). Not to be missed!
Solid swell continues on the North Shore of Oahu and day 2 of the Pipe Masters contest is underway!
Building swell and the first heat is in the water now.
Solid swell in the forecast for the the first few days of the waiting period. Who is going to win the world title this year? Will Kelly win number 12? Will Joel finally get his first title? Will a wildcard entry spoil both of their chances? It’s going to be exciting!
Kelly Slater paused just before the fenced-off slope down out of the contest area and into the crowd. Most surfers, once off the scaffold, start a proper jog, gaze held low, striding purposeful and with over-emphasized legs until the water’s edge. But Slater stops at the top. A pause. The sun is dipping delightfully, perhaps four fingers at most from the western horizon, where it will surely melt in glorious purples, oranges and pinks. He beholds the scene for perhaps ten seconds, but it feels like longer. Joel Parkinson, the only surfer in the world ranked above him still in the competition has just surfed an emphatic combo schooling of Gabriel Medina to the north of the site. Kelly heads south.
With the sun a further finger lower, and already with a 9.2 under his belt, Kelly lurches straight from take off into a no-hands left pit (I think they call it a backside bluetooth these days). Strangely reminiscent of one of those old Cloudbreak pics on the yellow board from the ’90s. Deep behind a round drainer of a section, he exits to a figure-eight roundhouse complete with Kelly flop to stand back up on the foam. It’s a legit ten. The perfect ride.
Day 4 ended with a bang as some of the best waves of the entire contest rolled through offering up a visual feast for the crowd on the beach. Mick Fanning is the only surfer out of the current top 4 that failed to make it into the semis. The final day, which begins this evening in the US around 10:45PM Pacific, will be amazing. This is one of the tightest races for the ASP World Title that has ever happened. Not to be missed!
Awarding Kelly Slater his 11th world title prematurely last week was the most famous snafu in pro surfing history. The ASP did a fine job of damage control, immediately taking responsibility for the mistake, but its repercussions have just become clear. After Tuesday’s ASP Board Meetings in San Francisco, Brodie Carr, six-year ASP CEO, has stepped down.
“It is my duty to accept responsibility for the recent calculation error that resulted in the premature crowning of Kelly Slater’s 11th ASP World Title,” Brodie Carr said in a press release.
“The determination of the ASP World Title is the most important moment in professional surfing. Ultimately, the responsibility for every activity within ASP lies with me. Therefore, I have elected to resign my position as CEO.”
Professional surfing took a big credibility hit when it was revealed that the ASP had miscalculated the points needed for Kelly Slater to be awarded his 11th World Title. Brodie Carr cares deeply about the reputation of the ASP and is a man of integrity. As such, he felt it necessary to assume full responsibility for the mistake and step down. Wall Street could learn from this man.
OCEAN BEACH, San Francisco/California (Friday, November 4, 2011) - The ASP has admitted that, due to a calculation error within its rankings’ system, the 2011 ASP World Title has yet to be officially decided and that Kelly Slater (USA), 39, was prematurely awarded his 11th ASP World Title on Wednesday.
“Our rankings’ system is designed to split tie-breaks based off of seed points,” Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, said. “Kelly (Slater) and Owen (Wright) tied at best nine of 11 results, so we went to best eight of 11 results and the system gave it to Kelly based off his higher seed position. We were operating under that assumption and created the ASP World Title scenarios based off of that. This was a mistake. In the end, we’re responsible for this and should be held accountable. We apologize to our fans, the surfers and to Owen and Kelly.”
Moving forward, Slater must win one more heat, either at the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco or at the following event at Pipeline in Hawaii to confirm his 2011 ASP World Title. For Wright to remain in the hunt, he must win both the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco and the following event at Pipeline in Hawaii.
This may not have been discovered had it not been for the fact that Kelly himself figured it out after seeing a post about it on a message board. When he did the calculations himself, he discovered that there was indeed an error and immediately notified the ASP. He has no interest in the title unless he wins fair and square. A standup guy all around. Meanwhile the ASP World Tour manager has been busily wiping the egg from his face.
October 28, 2011 / Ocean Beach, San Francisco – The Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco, Event No. 10 of 11 on the 2011 ASP World Title Series, will bring the world’s best surfers to Northern California for the first time in history next week with the ASP Top 34 doing battle at Ocean Beach.
The penultimate stop of the 2011 ASP Dream Tour season, the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco boasts the dual importance of playing a crucial role in the requalification campaigns of elite ASP Top 34 as well as the possible deciding event of the 2011 ASP World Title.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, is just two heat wins away from clinching a historic 11th title, needing to finish ninth or better at the Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco to end this season’s race.
“Being this close doesn’t change my approach too much,” Slater said. “I have to ride four waves as well as I can against probably a really good wildcard. The approach doesn’t change because of the situation. The approach got me to this place and I’ll stay in the same headspace as much as possible.”
The Rip Curl Pro Search event, Somewhere in San Francisco, gets underway this coming Tuesday. I think we now know exactly where “Somewhere in San Francisco” is:
somewhere at Ocean Beach, across from the Beach Chalet